Bringing in a Hazmat crew and locking down a school is paranoid overkill. The vapors of inorganic mercury are toxic, but so are many chemicals we are surrounded by. Put on a mask, rubber gloves, and use an eyedropper to suck up the mercury and put it in a sealed container.
The mercury/silver amalgams used in dental fillings are being phased out. It isn't because they are causing measurable harm, but because they are not cosmetic and other materials are rivaling the amalgam in properties while being much more cosmetic. A set amalgam releases mercury vapors at an extremely slow rate, comparable to background exposure.
The practice of using thiomersal as a preservative in microgram concentrations has been almost completely phased out.
Is it harmless? No. No chemical is harmless. Is it wrong to expose people to mercury without their consent? Absolutely.
But let's not panic and unnecessarily sensationalize things.
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