Schools Replace Wired Glass After Serious Injuries

The Eugene School District will shell out about $1 million to replace hundreds of wired glass panels in its schools after some serious injuries.

Now the district feels it can't afford not to make the change.

Pedro Valenzuela, 12, had an accident with a pane of wired glass. His hand and arm took a beating.

"I couldn't feel any pain, so I didn't know I hurt myself," Valenzuela said.

He felt no pain because the glass severed three nerves in Valenzuela's arm, along with four tendons and an artery.

"It looked pretty messed up, so I asked, 'Am I going to lose my finger?'"

Wired glass is only half as strong as ordinary window glass. It's been in some schools for years, primarily because few people knew just how dangerous it can be.

But in Eugene, they've learned a hard lesson.

"Within the last year or so we've become aware of the risks, and it is something we wanted to change," Kelly McIver of the Eugene School District said.

That means 16,000 square feet of wired glass in the Eugene district will be replaced with a safer, stronger alternative.

As for Valenzuela, he's looking at more visits to the doctor's office and lots of physical therapy. Considering the alternative, he feels he's ahead of the game.

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