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Former Illinois teacher convicted of pouring nitrogen on student

Prosecutors said the student suffered burn injuries to a finger and his groin following the 2018 incident at Bartlett High School.
/ Source: The Associated Press

WHEATON, Ill. — A former chemistry teacher at a suburban Chicago high school has been convicted of reckless conduct for pouring liquid nitrogen on a student during a science demonstration in 2018, injuring the youth.

A DuPage County jury on Tuesday also found Garry Brodersen, 66, guilty of one count of endangering the health or life of a child following a two-day trial, prosecutors said. That charge and the reckless conduct charge are both misdemeanors.

Brodersen, of Carpentersville, was performing a science demonstration in front of a class in May 2018 at Bartlett High School when prosecutors said he poured liquid nitrogen on a male student’s chest and groin area. The student suffered burn injuries to a finger and his groin, the state’s attorney’s office said.

Bartlett High School in Bartlett, Ill.
Bartlett High School in Bartlett, Ill.Google Maps

“Mr. Brodersen displayed extremely poor judgment when he doused a student with a dangerous chemical during a science demonstration,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a written statement.

The student had volunteered to take part in the science demonstration, but did so with the understanding that the liquid nitrogen would be poured over his chest area, not on his groin area, the state’s attorney’s office said. The student has since fully recovered, the office said.

The student was lying on his back in a classroom when Brodersen poured the liquid nitrogen onto his chest, followed by a larger amount onto his groin, the Daily Herald reported.

Brodersen resigned from his position and voluntarily surrendered his teaching certificate in June 2018, according to School District U-46, which includes Bartlett High School, told the Chicago Tribune.

Brodersen is expected in court again March 18 for post-trial motions or sentencing.