Microwave Mangled

Amanda LeMoine, Ronald Myers, and Baaz Jahj

Microwaving a metal knife can catch the whole thing on fire and guarantee many students will not be able to eat a hot lunch.

After hearing of the microwave situation, a parent offered to donate a microwave, provided that it meets all safety requirements. The microwave is currently on order.

The new microwave will be a relief to students as a large line has amassed outside the remaining microwave.The line has around 10 people, and most of these people microwave their items for at least 2 minutes, so that line can take up to 20 minutes to finish. When faced with the wait, some students instead are opting to eat their food cold, rather than waste their lunch standing in line.

“It’s slightly annoying since last year we had two microwaves and now we are down to one,” said senior Matt Zarosinski.

The microwave was damaged by a student who put a metal knife with a wooden handle in the microwave, which caught on fire. The metal part of the knife caused sparks because the waves in the microwave bounced around heating the metal to very high temperatures. The sparks caught the wood handle on fire, and the flaming knife soon destroyed the microwave. Although the fire was a small, there was plenty of smoke.

Because of the damage to school property, a student can be subjected to disciplinary action.

“The discipline is largely reliant on the student’s state of mind,” said John Parke, Assistant Principal. “Generally speaking if a student was- to put something in a microwave in order to start a fire, that is very, very dangerous behavior and very easily, if I prove their intent was to start a fire or get the school on fire, I would be suspending the student, bordering on expulsion.”

Parke agrees that if it the student had created the fire due to a lack of judgement or a accident, the school’s reaction would be different, and the punishment would be more along the lines of community service or helping the school, in order to pay back the damage that the student caused.

Off school grounds the punishment can automatically be much more severe.

For example, if somebody did the same thing in an appliance store in  Oregon, the charge could be second or third-degree arson, depending on the amount of damage caused.

According to Oregon Law “A person commits the crime of arson in the second-degree if, by starting a fire or causing an explosion, the person intentionally damages; (a) Any building of another that is not protected property; or (b) Any property of another and the damages to the property exceed $750.”

If the microwave was the same model as the one in the cafeteria   the damage would be $350 just for the machine and another $500  for damages to other appliances (i.e burnt countertops, wall on fire, surrounding materials made from flammable materials, etc.). Second-degree arson like in this case can toss you behind bars for at least five years depending on motive, but that can easily range to 25 years and beyond.

Additionally, if anyone nearby was in imminent danger, then the arsonist could face 1st degree arson. That can be life in prison without parole. If anyone was killed, then just take a look at the case of Raymond E. Oyler, who started a fire that killed 5 firefighters. He was sentenced to death.