LAS VEGAS (AP) — Classes are cancelled at a Las Vegas middle school after the student body was quarantined for up to 17 hours over possible mercury exposure.

The Clark County School District said all students and staff at Walter Johnson Junior High School in western Vegas were ordered to stay on campus to be screened by the Environmental Protection Agency after mercury was discovered on site just before noon Wednesday.

Many parents notified through automated messages of the hazmat situation staked out the school until their children slowly trickled out throughout the afternoon and into the early morning hours.

It took until 5 a.m. Thursday for everyone to be screened and cleared.

Officials said Wednesday that a small amount of the element known for its toxicity was brought to campus by a student.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  1. Benjamin Bell says:

    This was pure overkill. I worked for Standard Oil of California as an instrument/electrician installation & repair. I worked with mercury for years and even carried a bottle of it with me when I made my rounds on a bicycle through-out the refinery in El Segundo, Ca. I’m 71 years old today so what is this toxicity that the EPA is so scare about? Not only did I work with mercury daily, but when I was a small boy, me and my brothers would melt lead in a can and use my mother’s cookies cutters to make animals. Then again they could be talking about White people as they seem to be allergic to this Planet Earth anyway.

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