Sources in the Rancho DeLano, Ariz. school district say technicians there have still not replaced recalled batteries in the 3,000 Apple laptops used by its schools. Because of political concerns over the appearance of having laptops without batteries, district officials instructed technicians to keep the batteries in rather than pulling them and waiting for replacements.
When reached for comment, school officials defended the policy, saying kids sometimes need to learn “tough lessons” and sometimes that means exposing them to exploding batteries, but that kids are far more resilient than adults think.
“That’s why children are our greatest asset,” said superintendent Scott Madritch.
“They’re almost completely impervious to fire.
“It’s true. You can look it up.”
Coughing nervously, Madritch said “We don’t want to look bad. These laptop purchasing decisions can be highly charged. Almost as highly charged as these laptop batteries!
“Ha-ha! Ha! Ahhh…”
In lieu of actually replacing the batteries, district officials recommended:
- Placing a Mr. Yuck sticker on the battery.
- Asking the kids to put on a skit where a group of young toughs using explosive batteries tries to peer pressure another youth into using an explosive battery. In the end, they all learn a valuable lesson about themselves.
- Doubling the number of fire drills and “drop and roll” exercises.
- Counting third degree burns as “extra credit.”
One fan of the policy was technician Len Burrows.
“This saves me a lot of trouble,” Burrows said. “I wasn’t looking forward to pulling all those batteries and having to look at all those numbers to try to figure out if they were bad.
“This way I just wait for the laptops to explode. It’s easy.”
Fifteen minutes into the interview, school officials suddenly declined to comment.