Oregon science teacher arrested for teaching science

Newspapers across the country condemned his lesson on Tesla coils gone wrong!

Published May 7, 2015 6:00PM (EDT)

  (<a href='http://www.istockphoto.com/profile/diane39'>diane39</a> via <a href='http://www.istockphoto.com/'>iStock</a>)
(diane39 via iStock)

A Salem, Oregon science teacher has been arrested after burning the message "I heart Mom" into several of his students' arms with a Tesla coil, an electrical device frequently used for educational purposes.

The teacher, Samuel Dufner, 37, of the South Salem High School, was arrested after an angry parent complained, but quickly posted the $2,000 bail. He has since been placed on administrative leave.

According to students, Dufner concluded a demonstration on the Tesla coil by asking if any students wanted to volunteer to touch the coil and have marks left on their skin. A few asked for darker marks, which Dufner agreed to make.

"He was making, like, smiley faces and stars, but some students wanted to see how long they could hold it there," said Cheyenne Ward, a junior and one of Dufner's students. "Almost every student did it and everyone was laughing when they went up there... Nobody was sad or upset. It didn't hurt at all."

"They were just laughing," said Eduardo Montes, another student. "I don't think [Dufner] was trying to harm anyone. He was just making the class fun."

However, the story has since been picked up by Reuters, the Associated Press, as well as a number of local papers. The wire reports do not include students' testimony that the burns were made in good fun -- only that Dufner was arrested but that charges had been dropped.

Everyone needs to take a deep breath.



By Joanna Rothkopf

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