Burned Elementary Student's Parents Speak Out

Friday, October 28th 2011, 11:42 pm
By: News 9

Havonnah Johnson, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A metro father is calling for changes after a classroom science experiment gone wrong injures his daughter.

The school called the injuries minor. The girl's parents say her second degree burns are anything but.

Ashley Cherry was participating in a classroom experiment when it went up in flames, along with her hair and then the flames spread to her face.

Her seventh-hour science class at Kerr Middle school quickly morphed from a learning experience to disaster Wednesday.

Fire fighters responded, kids went home, but Cherry was rushed to the emergency room.

"I was expecting her to be walking in the door at any minute," Ashley's mother, Kim Cherry, said. "She was supposed to be bringing a friend home and they were going to go to church together. When they called me, they made it sound like something that was relatively minor."  

"She couldn't open her mouth. She couldn't talk. She couldn't eat and her eye was swollen shut," Ashley's father, Buddy Cherry said.

The Mid-Del acting superintendent says the teacher did everything right.

"She did an excellent job of following the precautionary methods. She's very well trained," said Pam Twidwell.

The Cherrys say more should have been done to prevent the accident.

"They were dealing with explosive chemicals and flammables and I feel like there should've been more protection," Buddy Cherry said.

"It doesn't make sense to me that the teacher that was performing the experiment and doesn't have any injuries whatsoever, yet my daughter walks away with injuries all over her face, her neck her hands, her hair is half gone. No I don't feel safe. The kids should've been wearing protection," Mrs. Cherry said.

Now Ashley wears protective bandages to prevent the burns from blistering. Ashley will need multiple reconstructive surgeries.

At this point the family is asking for financial help, prayers and their privacy.

Meanwhile the school is investigating the accident.

To help with medical expenses Ashley's family has set up a fund called "Ashley's Loved" at Kirkpatrick Bank.