A former teacher is being charged in connection with an explosion at a Denver charter school that injured four students, one critically.
Daniel Powell, 24, has been served with a summons charging him with four counts of third-degree assault, a class 1 misdemeanor, the Denver District Attorney said in a news release Wednesday.
The charges allege that on Sept. 15, Powell was negligent when he poured methanol on a small fire during a demonstration in a high school science classroom at STRIVE Preparatory Schools SMART Academy. "As a chemistry teacher at a high school using those materials, his behavior was negligent," said Lynn Kimbrough, district attorney spokeswoman.
Powell was served a summons on Friday. Because the charges are misdemeanors, he is free without bond.
He is scheduled to appear in Denver County Court on Nov. 18.
Powell was fired by the school earlier this month.
Student Dominic Vargas, 16, suffered serious burns to the upper part of his body in the methanol blast....Sometimes, I think that criminal prosecution is the form of policy making in this country with the least ROI, but it seems to generate movement overall. No one wants to go to jail or have a criminal record because of the lack of following best practices. But here we are.
If anyone has a great idea about how to stop the rainbow demonstration (and the general use of fire + methanol around kids), I'm listening.