Fairfax school system halts motorized partition use after boy dies

Alexandria map(Danny Yi)
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A school system in Northern Virginia has temporarily halted the use of motorized room partitions after a 9-year-old boy was fatally injured when he was caught between the partition and a wall in an elementary school’s gym.

Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman John Torre tells The Washington Post in an email that Superintendent Scott Brabrand imposed a moratorium on the use of the doors Sunday that will remain in place until further notice is provided to the schools.

Police say Wesley Lipicky and a teacher simultaneously pressed a button to open the partition. The Franconia Elementary School student was caught between the wall and the partition. He suffered traumatic head injuries and was later pronounced dead.

Torre says the employee involved in the incident has been placed on leave.

The motorized partition was manufactured by a Greenfield, Indiana-based company called Modernfold.

The company is “deeply saddened” by Lipicky’s death, the company’s managing director, Bryan Welch, said in a statement provided to WTOP. “Based on what’s known at this time, all indications are that the partition was functioning properly and this was a terrible accident. We will continue to be a resource to the school in any way that we can.”

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