Oregon Teacher Arrested For Burning ‘I (Heart) Mom’ Into Kids’ Arms With A Tesla Coil (VIDEO)

Everyone had that one teacher in high school who made their class a whole lot of fun. My awesome teacher was a science teacher and he used his humor to make lesson about algae interesting. The kids at South Salem High School in Oregon had a fun science teacher too; well, that is until he burned them.

Samuel Dufner was arrested at school on Tuesday after authorities found out that he burned “I (heart) mom” and other symbols into  students’ arms and hands with a Tesla coil to teach them about chemical reactions. The Tesla coil transmits electricity without wires at high-frequency and high-voltage levels, and can produce electrical burn-like markings if it touches the skin.

Salem Police Lt. Steve Birr said last Thursday Dufner explained to students how the coil worked and then touched his own skin with it and showed the mark to the kids. He then asked students if they wanted to try:

He took like the probe and he touched my hand and I pulled my hand away and it was done,” student Aminna Ackridge told KATU. “It hurt me a little bit, but as soon as I pulled my hand away the pain was gone.

Dufner’s third period student aide, Cheyenne Ward, a 17-year-old junior at South, said that she was there during second period and all of the students who volunteered were not upset of complaining of any pain:

He was making, like, smiley faces and stars, but some students wanted to see how long they could hold it there. Obviously, the longer he held it down the stronger the mark. [Source]

Eduardo Montes, 15, a student in Dufner’s first period class said his classmates were having fun and nobody was hurt. Another student, Angelica Avdeyeva, 17, said her teacher should not have been arrested:

I think this whole thing has been blown out of proportion. He never wanted to hurt anybody, and I don’t think he should have been arrested. This is his career, you know? He has a family, and we all feel bad.


Photo shows what's left of I (heart) mom. Image via Statesman Journal

Photo shows what’s left of I (heart) mom. Image via Statesman Journal

An angry parent called the school on Friday to complain and that’s when the investigation began. Students say it is an experiment he has been conducting for years and some parents say they had to sign a release form when their kids started Dufner’s class.

Prosecutors say they will not be filing charges at this time and Dufner is currently on paid leave until an internal investigation at the school can be completed.

It probably wasn’t the best idea to touch kids with anything that could leave a mark, but science is very hands on. The best way to learn about something and retain it, is with hands on experience. Researchers have found that students who have a hands on learning experience often walk away with a deeper understanding of how something works, compared to a student who just sat through a lecture. Whether you agree with what he did or not, I bet those kids will never forget how that coil works.

Watch KATU’s news report below:

Featured image via NY Daily News

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