Local News

South Granville High Reopens Monday After Mercury Cleanup

Posted October 24, 2005 11:11 a.m. EDT

— A Granville County school shut down last week after mercury was discovered missing reopened Monday morning after a two-hour delay.

Late Sunday evening, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Granville-Vance Health Department cleared South Granville High School and South Granville School of Health and Life Science to reopen for students at 10:30 a.m.

Jan Allen, public information officer for the Granville County School System, said the two-hour delay was needed for school staff to plan for the reopening of the school facility.

On Oct. 14, school officials discovered that 8 to 12 ounces of elemental mercury was missing from a science classroom. The investigation revealed that a freshman allegedly took the mercury and shared it with other students. Authorities said all of the mercury was later recovered from the homes of two students.

Legal charges in the case are pending and the students, whose names were not released because they are juveniles, could face suspension or expulsion from the school as a result of their alleged actions.

Officials at South Granville High School are also conducting an internal investigation to determine whether school policy and procedures were properly followed because the liquid was supposed to be locked in a cabinet.

While mercury is still found in many classrooms, several public and private schools have opted not to use the metal because of the

health risks

associated with it.