WHEATON, Ill. — A former Illinois high school chemistry teacher on Tuesday was found guilty of reckless conduct for pouring liquid nitrogen on a student during a science demonstration in 2018.
Garry Brodersen, 66, of Carpentersville, was also found guilty by a DuPage County jury of one count of endangering the health or life of a child, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Both charges are misdemeanors.
Brodersen was teaching at Bartlett High School on May 15, 2018, when prosecutors said he poured liquid nitrogen on a male student, who was lying on his back, the Daily Herald reported. The liquid was poured on the student’s chest, and then a larger amount was poured onto his groin, the newspaper reported.
Nitrogen is a gas that takes a liquid form when it is between -320 and -346 degrees Fahrenheit. At those temperatures, it rapidly freezes skin tissues and eye fluids, according to the Daily Herald.
“Mr. Brodersen displayed extremely poor judgment when he doused a student with a dangerous chemical during a science demonstration,” DuPage County State Attorney Robert Berlin said in a news release.
The student volunteered to take part in the demonstration but did so with the understanding that the liquid nitrogen would be poured over his chest area, not on his groin area, a spokesperson for the state’s attorney’s office told the Tribune. The student has since fully recovered, the spokesperson said.
Brodersen resigned from his position and voluntarily surrendered his teaching certificate in June 2018, a spokesperson for School District U-46 told the Tribune. The Elgin District U-46 school board approved a resignation agreement in July 2018.
“We acted quickly to address the incident internally, recognizing the severity of the breach of conduct,” the spokesperson told the newspaper in an email.
Brodersen remains free on bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.