Teens Feel Jolt After Apparent Lightning Strike at Greenville School

Posted at 9:23 PM, May 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-12 22:31:47-04

GREENVILLE, Mich. (May 12, 2014) – Storms hit Montcalm County early Monday and administrators at one local school believe the building was struck by lightning.

Three students at Grattan Academy in Greenville were checked out at the hospital after feeling the jolt.

Two were sitting near lockers and got small burns on their backs.  The other was washing her hands and felt tingling and numbness.

They were all cleared and sent home to return to school Tuesday.

“We were just talking, doing our math work and like all of a sudden like there was this big boom,” Cazzie Barr, 14, recalled.

The jolt didn’t leave a mark on the school but the three girls felt its power.  There were 160 students inside at the time of the incident.

Superintendent and principal Tom Kreiner says it happened around 8 a.m.

“We saw the flash, we heard everything crackle, the power never flickered but in our more delicate systems like our computers, fire alarm, phone system those all shorted out,” he said.

Kreiner called in a member of the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Department to check out the school and alert dispatch of the situation.  The fire alarm was fixed shortly after.

Kreiner says the lightning must have struck the top of the building.

The three girls, all longtime friends, say they didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“I was shocked, like legit shocked,” Barr said.

A small star-shaped mark on her back is the only visible injury left on the girls.

“It hurt and it was also scary because I didn’t know what happened until they told me,” Alicia Miller, 13, said.

Kreiner says he used the strike as a science lesson for the students.  The girls say they’re chalking it up to a life experience.

“It was on our bucket list, to get shocked by lightning so YOLO,” Barr said.

The superintendent believes the incident caused around $20,000 in damage.  School will continue as normal on Tuesday.

Kreiner says he’ll be exploring the possibility of installing lightning rods.