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Pittsburgh Kindergarten Teacher Resigns After 5-Year-Old Girl Ends Up With Severe Burns From Class Science Experiment

WARNING: graphic images

A Pittsburgh teacher resigned after one of their students received severe burns during a science experiment.

A school spokesperson confirmed the resignation.


The young girl's burns stretch across her stomach. The second degree burns have healed somewhat since the incident, but the photos of the injury are surprising.

*The following news clip contains graphic pictures of the injury.

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In early January, a five-year-old's class was performing some experiment involving hot water. The boiling water spilled on the young girl causing the injuries.

The girl's grandmother was called to pick her up after the accident. However, according to her, the school didn't mention the extent of the injuries.

Attorney Todd Hollis, who is representing the girl and her family said:

"The district has not reached out to the family to provide them with any information, so that's disappointing."

Because of this, details about the experiment and why this child was burned so badly remain unanswered.




The Pittsburgh Public School District has provided limited information. Initially, they issued a statement only saying the incident was under investigation.

After it was reported that the teacher involved resigned last week, Ebony Pugh, the district spokesperson confirmed the resignation, but wouldn't comment any further.

What information we do have comes from the young girl at the heart of the matter.

According to Hollis:

"She's very articulate... has informed us that through some kind of project that occurred at the school, she sustained a second and/or third-degree burns.
"The young lady is going through some very obvious signs of trauma, so we've assisted in putting her into some therapy. As time goes on, hopefully she'll be able to get the assistance that she needs."

However, the child can only provide so much information. There is a lot here that needs answering.

What kind of experiment with children so young would involve them having direct access to boiling water?



Other incidents of students being burned have been in the news lately, due to lawsuits filed against the schools.

Causes range from contact with liquid nitrogen or flammable materials, but almost all involve some kind of class science demonstration.

These kinds of presentations can be incredibly informative and entertaining, often getting kids more excited in the sciences than they otherwise would be.

However, if safety protocols aren't in place and followed, accidents are sure to follow.


After the incident, the family of the young girl considered filing a lawsuit.

When asked if the resignation of the teacher would affect these plans, Hollis didn't rule it out, saying it will "proceed as lawsuits proceed."

"It's hard to imagine what the teacher was thinking when she introduced water to a child that young."
"The why is what we all want to know. I would imagine as we proceed with the lawsuit, we'll get closer to the why."

At time of writing, a lawsuit has not been filed. The district still refuses to comment beyond confirming the teacher's resignation.