Lawrence, Kansas – Mr. Timmons, a second grade teacher at Truman Elementary, thought he could turn the hoax about a young boy being trapped in a homemade balloon into a great teaching moment for his class. However, a slight miscalculation left Sarah Murphy, 6, floating across Kansas for nearly three hours.
First, in the classroom Mr. Timmons taught his students why balloons filled with helium float, and then explained how much helium it would take to lift a person. "Bringing current events into the classroom is a great way to get kids to pay attention," said Mr. Timmons. "They all knew about the Falcon Heene story, so this was a great opportunity."
Mr. Timmons had made a homemade balloon which he brought into school for a demonstration. "I took the kids out onto the playground, and showed them how it couldn't lift any of them. Unfortunately, Sarah was a lot lighter than I thought and the balloon carried her away while I was dealing with some troublemakers," said Timmons.
Timmons calls to police, National Guard, airports and media were all ignored as they thought it was all another hoax.
"You know how much they spent in Colorado on that balloon boy thing" said Lawrence Police Chief Ed Mullins. "I feel bad about this whole thing, but thankfully no one got hurt."
Sarah traveled about twenty miles away and landed in a field north of the school. She only suffered a few minor bumps and bruises from the landing.
"I was scared at first, but then I fell asleep," said the blond-haired, blue-eyed Murphy. "I got to eat a brownie and some juice when it was all over and I like turtles."
Timmons said he would avoid bringing current events into the classroom in the future. "I learned my lesson," he said. "I'll put that experiment on how much dynamite it would take to put a desk in orbit on hold."