Pa. school: Student poured gasoline on security guard
Wilkinsburg, Pa. — A suspended student poured gasoline from a soda container onto a school security guard on Monday when she was denied entrance to her western Pennsylvania high school, police and school officials said. Students were dismissed as the smell of gas permeated the school.
Wilkinsburg police Chief Ophelia Coleman said the girl was taken to the police station, but investigators were waiting for her family to arrive so they could interview her.
Police and Wilkinsburg School District officials did not release the girl’s name, age or grade, though school board President Ed Donovan told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that she was suspended on Friday after an unspecified incident.
The girl came to school anyway on Monday and poured the gasoline on the guard and the floor after she was denied entry, Donovan said. He described the container as a soda can though Pete Camarda, the district spokesman, later told The Associated Press it was a bottle.
The girl did not attempt to light the fuel, Camarda said. It was not immediately clear whether the guard was injured.
Students at the seventh- through 12th-grade school in Pittsburgh’s eastern suburbs were initially evacuated to a nearby community center, then dismissed so their parents and guardians could take them home, Camarda said.
Coleman said the girl could face criminal charges, but he could not release details until investigators interview the girl. Police planned to release a statement later Monday, the chief said.
The impoverished school district last week announced a plan to close Wilkinsburg’s secondary school because of declining enrollment. Under the plan, 200 or so Wilkinsburg students will be sent to an underperforming Pittsburgh school next school year, Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy, which has roughly 400 sixth- through 12th-grade students.
Both school boards must still approve the plan.
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