"take the risk of trusting the student" and the whole "flavor" of your message describe someone that is just bumping along, doing "their job". We can't afford that type of administrator in our schools any more. Did this Vice know the student in question? Did he know of his reputation? Was he aware of his grades? Had he talked to his teachers about him? Here he was, in a situation that called for a quick decision, and he had failed to do his homework!
The question facing this vice went well beyond his "trust" of the student. A vice at a technical school should be conversant with science and technology. They could have had an interesting discussion of the device, the principles behind it's operation, any testing that the lad had done, etc. The vice could have easily obtained sufficient information to make an informed decision about hitting the panic button. That is, unless, again, he had failed to do his homework.
We have far too many adults in our schools today who have no drive to fill the calling, rather than performing the tasks. There are many who are not interested in "intellectual curiosity", but want a checklist for learning. Since there is no competition, there is safety and tenure. I'm sure that these kinds of folks laugh over their cuppa, checking their watch to find that they have two minutes left before they have to go back and deal with the monsters.
Don't take me wrong. There are many who care, but my point is that there are many who don't. This vice might be OK. I can't stereotype based on the limited info in the article. I just know that based on what I see (on one end), and the dwindling supply of parts at the local Radio Shack, it does not bode well for the technological future for lads like this who have not yet experienced the snuffing of the spark.
My hope and prayer is that this lad will rise above the insult and embarrassment. And that somebody will evaluate this vice to see if he's a help or a hindrance where he's chosen to reside.