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The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

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The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

Science teacher sets off fire alarm while filming a TikTok video

The accident happened during an experiment using lycopodium powder
Photo from Bricker’s TikTok account.

After school on Jan. 23, science teacher Andrew Bricker accidentally set off the fire alarm while recording a video for his TikTok page, causing firefighters to rush to the school.

This was the second day of tech week for the school musical, Mean Girls, causing stress for the actors and crew when Bricker’s experiment went south.

Bricker has gathered a fairly large audience on his TikTok, seeking to relate with his students. 

 “I made the TikTok account with the hopes of showing students short parts of science experiments, laws, or maybe giving short practice questions,” Bricker said. “I liked the 30 second format.”

When the alarm was set off, Bricker was doing an experiment involving lycopodium powder, a very flammable substance. 

“I was practicing lighting small amounts of it inside of a hollow tube for TikTok,” Bricker said. “I guess I poured a little bit too much in, and it shot out like a jet engine for about half a second.” 

He initially tried to call the front office, which didn’t work because school was over. Then, he emailed assistant principal Greg Farley. 

“I didn’t want anyone to panic,” Bricker said.

Theater students focused on the play were shocked by the interrupting alarm. 

“I was halfway through the song and all of a sudden I saw these really bright flashing lights, but I didn’t know if it was the lights of the shows malfunctioning or not,” junior Giulia Ventello said.

Senior and tech crew member Maryann Barnhart was particularly confused. 

“I was so confused as to what was happening because I’ve seen this on social media happen before and I thought no way this is happening to us right now,” she said.

Administration was understanding about the accident. However, Bricker still felt bad about his TikTok mishap. 

“Some of the students who were in ‘Mean Girls’ weren’t super happy about it, but they forgave me,” Bricker said.

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Ruby Flanner, Reporter
I'm a first-year reporter for When I'm not working for the journalism staff, you can probably find me at an ice skating rink.

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