Published March 8, 2007
Blessed Trinity High School officials acted swiftly to ensure the safety of the students and the facility on Monday, March 5, when students in a science classroom exhibited apparent signs of a skin rash. A few students also experienced throat irritation. The students were transferred to the school’s clinic for treatment, while the Roswell police and fire departments were called to provide medical transport.
The remainder of the student body was led from the building by Father Augustine Tran to the sports field outside and then to nearby St. Peter Chanel Church.
All precautions were taken to ensure the safety of the students, faculty and staff. Families were contacted, and the students were released from school to their parents by mid-afternoon.
“We are most grateful to the Roswell Fire Department, Roswell Police Department and Dekalb County HAZMAT for their response to our call for assistance in caring for the students and for their professional handling of the investigation,” said Frank Moore, principal of Blessed Trinity.
Seventeen students with symptoms of itching, any sign of a rash or throat irritation were examined and transported by ambulance to nearby hospitals. School chaplain Father Kevin Peek was at the hospital with the students. All of the students were released to their parents by 6 p.m.
An additional 33 students were in that science classroom during the day but did not indicate any physical conditions of concern. They were escorted to a separate building on campus for the afternoon for observation.
Diane Starkovich, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, quickly arrived on the school campus in response to the situation.
“The crisis management plan was in place and was properly followed by the faculty and staff of Blessed Trinity Catholic School,” Starkovich commented. “This ensured the proper care for the students experiencing symptoms and the safety of the students during the school evacuation.”
Dekalb County HAZMAT investigated the classroom and found slight traces of a non-hazardous powder. The school building was determined to be safe. As an extra pre-caution, Moore contracted with a professional cleaning service specializing in environmental cleanup to thoroughly sanitize the classroom and prepare to reopen on Tuesday.