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Bats Found At Elementary School

The School District of Pickens County is working to remove bats that have invaded the gym at Clemson Elementary.

District spokeswoman Julie Thompson told News 4 the gym was closed to everyone on Jan. 13 after the bats were discovered in the eaves of the building.

In a statement, Thompson said, "District officials are actively exploring options to determine the number of bats, how they have entered the gym, when they can be removed, and how they can be removed. We assure everyone that the health and safety of our students and staff are priorities as we find the best solution to dealing with the situation. We are also committed to keeping Clemson Elementary parents fully informed at all times."

One parent said he didn't mind the District erring on the side of caution.

"It's kind of random. You don't really give bats much thought, and when you hear about them in the school, it's not something you're expecting to hear from your school," the parent said. "I understand (the District has) to do what they have to do. They'll get the bats out soon."

Third-grader Ethan Richard said he didn't mind the bats.

"I think they're pretty cool," said Richard. "Well, not the part where we can't go to (physical education class)."

Richard's recreational basketball games are also played at the school's gym. For the time being, the games have been moved to a local church's gym.

"I hope (the bats) find a nice place, so they can survive, but not at our gym," said Richard.

Fifth grader Caitlin Pargue said instead of the gym, students are playing games and doing art during P.E.

"It's not that fun," said Pargue. "I don't like (the bats). They're scary."

This isn't the first time bats have been found at a Pickens County school.

In 2009, wildlife experts set up traps to remove and relocate bats that had invaded Gettys Middle School.

Thompson said the District is still "in the planning stages" of how to move the bats this time.

George Williams,
General Manager - Staff Entomologist

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA 


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