Bat Problem Closes School
An Upstate elementary school remained closed on Friday as district officials try to make sure that a bat problem has been solved.
Fountain Inn Elementary dismissed early on Thursday after a bat got into one of the classrooms, one day after a bat removal expert got more than 300 bats out of the building.
On Friday, school district officials met with a bat expert from Clemson University to find out how to treat and control the Mexican free-tailed bats.
Bat removal specialists also did a walk-through of the school on Friday to make sure all entrance points have been secured to keep bats from getting back into the building.
Two bats that were found inside the building both tested negative for rabies.
School officials said all of the bat droppings were found outside of the building. The droppings were removed with a high-strength cleanser that school officials said is nontoxic for children.
South Carolina Department of Environmental Control spokesman Adam Myrick said the bat problem started at Fountain Inn Elementary about three weeks ago.
District officials say they didn't close the school initially because they felt they had the bat problem under control. They said the public hasn't been privy to what was going on behind the scenes.
District officials said they didn't feel the need to dismiss or close school until a bat disrupted a music class Thursday.
Officials will continue to monitor the building this weekend to see if any other bats are still inside.
Director of Communications Oby Lyles said specialists don’t think there are bats still inside the building, but they aren't 100 percent sure.
Lyles said, “We feel like we've done everything we can to address the problem. It's no different than at your own home. It's very difficult to get rid of bats, but we feel like we're making every effort we can to do that.”
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