Lima teacher may lose job for student injuries

May 23, 2013

LIMA — Lima City Schools' superintendent is recommending the termination of a teacher accused of botching a science experiment that injured 13 students.

“She didn’t follow procedures. She didn’t follow directions,” Superintendent Jill Ackerman said Thursday.

Tonya Jacobs has been with Lima City Schools since 2008. She is a sixth-grade teacher at North Middle School, Ackerman said.

“It is my intention to recommend to the Board of Education that she be terminated due to negligence,” Ackerman said.

Jacobs was conducting an experiment for her class to show how cold the water was when the Titanic sunk in the north Atlantic a century ago.

The experiment involves mixing salt and ice water in a bucket with a cup of unsalted water in the middle for the children to stick a hand into. Ackerman said Wednesday the cup of unsalted water may have been left out. She wouldn’t say more Thursday due to the pending case.

“It seems that the directions were altered and hence the injuries,” she said.

Thirteen students suffered injuries, including what resembled chemical burns. Lima Schools recommended all 13 children seek medical attention, the matter was reported to Allen County Children Services and a police report was filed, Ackerman said.

The water temperature when the Titanic sunk was 28 degrees Fahrenheit, Ackerman said.

She said participation in the experiment was voluntary and was part of a lesson on the Titanic. The students were reading the book about the gigantic luxury ship that sank on its maiden voyage.

“It’s a common experiment,” Ackerman said.