An Oregon teacher was arrested after burning “I love mom” into his students’ arms as part of a class lesson.
— Salem Police Dept. (@SalemPoliceDept) May 6, 2015
I’m all for science and doing experiments in the classroom, but I’d have to draw the line here. Reportedly Samuel Dufner had demonstrated the Tesla coil during class — it’s a device that produces high-voltage, low-current electricity and transmits it without wires. He mentioned that it can also be used to mark the skin and asked for volunteers — and several teen students stepped up.
Dufner chose a traditional tattoo staple — “I love mom” with a heart shape in place of the word “love” — and went to work. There is no mention of the number of students who were burned in this manner, but the parent of one of them thought it was quite horrible and complained.
Dufner was arrested, posted a $2,000 bail and was put on leave by the school district as he awaits his trial. Police report that the burn marks have now faded, but the memories will remain, especially for Dufner, who may be in for a bit of hurt as the courts decide his fate.
We send our kids to school with the knowledge that they will be taught, guided and taken care of. Yes, I realize the students volunteered, but they don’t have the life experience an adult has — an adult like their teacher. Teenagers do take risks that can and do put them in harm’s way, and it’s up to grown-ups to help lead them down the right path.
I’m not sure what Dufner was thinking, but he definitely wasn’t thinking clearly. I would have also complained to the school or law enforcement if I noticed my teen son came home from school with a burn mark on his arm, even if it did say, “I <3 mom." If he wanted to demonstrate this interesting effect, he could have demonstrated it on himself and left it at that. I think it's great that he was showing the class the Tesla coil in the first place, but the demonstration should have stayed just that — a demonstration.