Splendora High School takes on bat problem

SPLENDORA, Texas - Splendora High School is taking care of its bat problem by installing a mesh cover over a hole on the building's side that allows bats to get out, but not back in.

"Instead of the wildcats we should be called the wildbats," said student Katrice, referring to the school's mascot.

As kids were arriving at school, bats were flying around their usual opening to get inside the building. On Wednesday morning, they didn't have easy access.

The bats were first spotted last week, generating mixed emotions from parents when asked if they were concerned.

"Yes, because they carry rabies and I don't know, they travel in packs and you can get a bite," said Karen Dobbs, mother of a ninth grader.

"Oh no, we live here," said parent Marlene Martin. "This part of their natural resources. This is a fairly new school, so it really doesn't bother me."

The bats were living inside a stairwell wall and got into the main building through a hole underneath the stairs. The hole is now sealed.

The school district found out about the bats on Monday and took action Tuesday by calling in a bat removal company.

On Wednesday, the school district sent a letter home with the students. The message from Superintendent Genese Bell read:

"Please talk to your students about bats. Let them know if they see a bat, to leave it alone, and report it to an adult.

SISD will continue to monitor inside the building during the day and adults will follow the protocol for removing the bats if any are sighted."

The mesh will be in place for five to seven days because not all the bats leave every night. After that, the removal company will come in, seal up the hole and spray disinfectant.

Local 2 asked if the health department has become involved. The school said since none of the students have touched a bat, they have not called the health department, but they will do so if a student does come in contact with one.

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