Rodent Rampage

Staff and student body panic as four-footed furry fiends infiltrate classrooms


(Photo by Krissy Brzycki.)

Throughout the school year, students and faculty members become more and more aware of the ongoing issue of mice roaming around in the halls at the same time they do. 

Choir teacher Melissa Walsh is one of the few teachers who have been affected the most. Walsh believes part of the reason she finds mice in her room is because they seek warmth in the cold weather.

Walsh has been teaching in the same room for the past 11 years and continues to be startled by them.

“You don’t get used to things that aren’t supposed to be there,” Walsh says .

Walsh has even found mice droppings in her classroom and office, and because mice carry diseases, she is concerned with her students’ well being.

“I want the spaces where I am in school and the spaces students are to be clean,” Walsh says. 

Another concern for Walsh is how it can be distracting to the students. When a mouse runs across the room, it causes them to lose their focus during a rehearsal. 

The first time she encountered a mouse during class, she was sitting on the piano when the furry creature ran under her chair, causing the classroom to erupt. 

Needless to say, the learning environment shifted. According to Walsh, the school is doing everything they can to fix the problem as it is difficult to completely eliminate the mice because her room is close to an exit, and a lot of students are around the area for after school activities.

“There’s students in this area of the school so much after school hours, and they have food with them, and food gets left in trash cans,” Walsh says . 

The mice have also found a home in the classroom of Nutrition and Wellness teacher Michelle Burris, whose students consistently cook and handle food. . 

“These are supplies I have to buy and if they get ruined, I have to replace them,” says Burris.

Most of her supplies are provided by the school, though she has to spend her  own money at times.

According to Burris, it isn’t uncommon to find mice in her classroom, especially with two walls facing outside.

“Once they come in and they find the food, they’re going to be happy,” Burris says. 

Like Walsh, Burris admits the school has taken strides to help but is limited in its options. 

“They are not allowed to use chemicals,” Burris says. “They’re not allowed to use the snappy kind of traps. They only have the sticky kind of traps that they can use.”

Junior Ajeya Warren first experienced seeing a mice during her sophomore year when she watched one run across the hall during a passing period. She described the experience as “kind of chaotic.” 

“I’ve seen one in the training room and two in the cage where the wrestlers’ stuff is stored,” she says.