Wake County Schools

Wake County schools keeping eye on Chromebooks after 1 smolders in Western NC classroom

Posted October 10, 2019 12:31 a.m. EDT
Updated October 10, 2019 4:18 a.m. EDT

— More than 20,000 Chromebooks are being pulled from classrooms in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools after one began smoldering inside a classroom Wednesday morning.

Pictures of the 2015 Hewlett Packard Chromebook that was destroyed when it overheated and melted have some parents on edge.

The Wake County Public School System says it’s looking into the investigation to see what, if anything, should be done here to make sure students are safe. Other districts, including ones in Durham and Johnston counties, haven’t reported any ongoing investigations.

Mary Ventour has a child in first grade and said news of the laptop overheating is a cause for concern.

"Is it safe for our kids to use? Is it safe for our schools in general? Because they can cause an explosion," Ventour said.

Officials with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school district said Lewisville Elementary was evacuated when the incident happened around 9:45 a.m., according to NBC affiliate WXII in Winston-Salem. The Chromebook in question was being used by a student at the time. Nobody was hurt, officials from the Lewisville Fire Department said.

“I was very proud of our children today," Lewisville Elementary Principal Angie Choplin told WXII. "Practicing the drills is really what makes the difference, and we take it very seriously each and every time we practice and that they know in an emergency what to do, so I don’t think anyone was panicked or the teachers as they came out. I was very proud."

In the end, parents are hoping the cause can be figured out before something like this happens in a classroom nearby.

"It’s not good. It can happen to anyone," Ventour said.

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