by Kim Powell
ODESSA - The Ector County ISD met tonight to approve the funding for medical bills for students who were exposed to mercury at Hood Junior High School back in March.
The incident happened when a student brought an old plastic bottle with about one ounce of mercury in it to campus. The student, and several others, poured the mercury out of the bottle and played with it in several areas--including the cafeteria and two classes--before school started.
Sixty students and staff were taken to the hospital to be treated for potential mercury poisoning.
The board approved an additional $12,000 to go towards those medical expenses.
"Obviously an emergency room trip is not something that's inexpensive, and so it was something we felt like we needed to do for the families of the students who were involved in this," said Mike Atkins, ECISD public information officer.