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Pupils go home early in vandalism aftermath

Many Shady Hills Elementary School pupils remained at home Tuesday and 30 others went home early as employees continued cleaning up residue from fire extinguishers that vandals sprayed throughout the school last weekend. On Monday, about 100 pupils went home early complaining of burning eyes and headaches caused by inhaling traces of the chemical powder. Tuesday, about 30 children went home complaining of similar symptoms. Principal Ruth Biggs said about 112 children were absent Tuesday, compared with 79 pupils absent Monday. On average days at the school, about 31 children are absent. The chemical powder from the extinguishers is irritating but not toxic, according to the district's environmental specialist. It has proved to be difficult to remove, too. Biggs said the cleanup would continue again today.

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