Palm Beach County School District releases safety policy following accidents at school auto shop

The district has suspended the auto shop program

LOXHATCHEE, Fla. -- - Following two separate incidents involving serious injuries inside the auto shop class at Seminole Ridge Community High School, the Palm Beach County School District released the policy surrounding the program.

In a lengthy document released on Tuesday, the district confirmed the lifts in the school are inspected. It also detailed that safety protocol is administered to students through materials and exams. The district also said safety signs are visibly posted throughout the auto shop.

The district also released a statement saying the auto shop at the school has been suspended until it can review protocol.

In September, Dustin Reinhardt lost an eye and part of his skull after a tire exploded. On Friday, Justin Perez broke several bones and punctured a lung following an incident inside the auto shop room.
"I had feeling of oh my gosh, why did it have to be such a young man?" said Cody Jenkins, a junior at Seminole Ridge High School.

Jenkins helped administer first-aid for Justin Perez on Friday and help fundraisers for Dustin Reinhardt back in September. He does not know what went wrong but said students are disappointed to hear the district has put the entire auto shop class on hold.

"Many of the students are saddened by the suspension because that is a major program out at Seminole Ridge and it does make a difference in a lot of students lives," said Jenkins.

Scott Reinhardt, the father of Dustin Reinhardt, said he understands the frustration among students in the program. He just hopes safety measure can be reviewed by the district sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately, it took another accident before this happened. I guess it's better late than never," said Scott Reinhardt.

Cody Jenkins said he just hopes something can be learned so that serious injuries among students do not keep happening in the auto shop class.

"Freak accidents occur all the time and I believe there's always a purpose behind everything," said Jenkins.

The Palm Beach County School District has yet to release exactly what happening on Friday. Administrators have only confirmed that there was an "incident" and that it is under investigation.