CLOVIS, Calif. - Two schools in Clovis shut down Friday after a student brought mercury onto Reyburn Intermediate School's campus. Both campuses of Reyburn and Clovis East High School, which share the same block, are being cleaned and inspected by hazmat teams. They are scheduled to reopen on Tuesday after the MLK holiday.
Clovis Unified School District said all students are okay and a precautionary cleanup is underway.
"I came and then there were no cars in the parking lot. I just walked to school and there was nobody there," said Reyburn Intermediate Student Kyosqke.
The District said a Reyburn student brought mercury to school and shared it with friends on Thursday.
"I am shocked that school is closed because of that," said Kyosqke.
"That's terrible. Oh my goodness what were their intentions?," Reyburn Intermediate and Clovis East Parent Teresa Marshall.
Kelly Avants with Clovis Unified School District said the student was playing with the mercury after finding it in a rural area.
"Very fortunately we don't have anyone who is reporting adverse symptoms but we recognizing it does have risk. The issue today is just the clean up to make sure there is no residue of this on our campus," she said.
Robert Kezirian with Valley Children's Hospital said mercury can still be found in everyday scenarios.
"There are still old thermometers out there -- in Grandma's pantry or Mom's bathroom. There are also antiques like grandfather clocks and barometers. They have mercury in them," he said.
He said if ingested, side effects are severe.
"It's like when they say 'mad as a hatter.' There's anxiety. There's sweating. There's flushing, irritability, numbness, difficulty processing," said Kezirian.