What NOT To Do If You Find A Human Skull At Work -- This Is A No-Brainer
Here's one they don't always put in the employee handbook -- how to handle a real live human cranium found in the workplace. For one employee of Island County in Washington state, the answer was to raise the cranium on a nearby pole as if the body part were a flag.
The act of course did not go unnoticed. As was first reported by the Whidbey News Times, a local citizen of the Coupeville, Washington, area issued a complaint over the cranium, saying the act was disrespectful. Realizing the skull might actually derive from a corpse, the solid waste officials called the police to conduct a forensic test.
When the skull was determined to indeed be of human origins, and not merely a plastic model, the case became of a different order.
"It should be treated like it was a homicide scene," said Island County Coroner Robert Bishop.
Indeed, it is against the law to throw out human remains, and Washington state mandates remains should not only be "decently buried or cremated" but also disposed of within 90 days.
The use of real human skeletons for teaching purposes was common practice up until roughly twenty years ago at around the time India outlawed the export of human remains.
But it's still a regular occurrence for solid waste employees to come across human body parts, Bishop said, which of course is only further testament to the at times harrowing nature of their work.
And in the case of the Coupeville skull, it was when a serial number was found inside that it became clear this particular cranium was a product of the era when they were still in use in the classroom.
As local news outlet NWCN.com reported, the incident has motivated Island County officials to reassess their policies regarding solid waste and human remains. And an investigation is under way regarding this particular incident.
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