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Kids in the hall: A $150,000 soccer-ball mishap
July 15th, 2010 8:57PM
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TAGS:  high school boys


[OFF THE POST] Two students playing soccer in the hallway of a Virginia high school are being blamed for causing $150,000 worth of damage.

Arlington Public Schools facilities manager Steve Larson told the Washington Examiner that the ball hit a fire-safety sprinkler. The water poured into the hallway and beneath the floor of the nearby gymnasium.

"The gym was damaged badly because the sprinkler went off and the process of shutting the sprinkler down involved the fire department," Larson said.

The school's insurance company claims there was "negligence" on the part of the students and wants payment from at least one of the families of the two students involved.

An Arlington County Fire Department official said the sprinklers could been have turned off before the fire department arrived.

  1. George Gorecki
    commented on: July 16, 2010 at 7:54 a.m.
    I've seen this situation before. If the sprinkler heads did not have protective caps on them, then it was the school that was negligent. The caps likely would have prevented this accident.
  1. Gil Ramirez
    commented on: July 16, 2010 at 9:10 a.m.
    I've seen this picture before, blame the kids for things that go wrong in the world of adults. Whoever did approve not installing caps or decided not to shut off the sprinklers until the fire department came is negligent as well.
  1. Bill Richter
    commented on: July 16, 2010 at 11:15 a.m.
    It's a high school, stuff happens. If it was a college, I could see the point, but it's not. The school bears some responsibility for both the lack of protection and the failure to turn off the system before the fire department arrived.
  1. Kenneth Tyburski
    commented on: July 16, 2010 at 3:27 p.m.
    I don't disagree with some amount of negligence on the part of the school, if there are protective caps that could be installed to provide extra protection. Also, if the sprinklers could have been turned off earlier, fine. However, aren't most sprinkler heads on the *ceilings* of facilities? What were these kids doing, shooting upper 90 at the trophy cases? Working on their headers? And if they were, WHY? In a hallway? Yes, stuff happens because kids are kids, but SHOULD it? Should protective caps be necessary if kids shouldn't be playing soccer IN A HALLWAY to begin with? GO OUTSIDE. Playing soccer in a hallway of a high school isn't proper behavior. I don't think the lack of maturity or the ability to make smart decisions on the part of high school kids can be ignored in situations like this.
  1. Bob Ashpole
    commented on: July 17, 2010 at 11:17 a.m.
    Students playing with a soccer ball or any other kind of ball inside the school is not negligence unless there was a school rule prohibiting it, which I doubt. It is very common to see kids juggling balls and bouncing balls off walls everywhere. Hallways are not a dangerous place compared to other areas of the school. Fire sprinklers are in every room of the school including gyms.

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