January 31, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---It's no secret Butler High School has dealt with some serious discipline issues. But this time kids aren't causing the disruptions--mice are.
Sometimes we see things that aren't really there, and that's exactly what one student at Butler High had hoped. But when she saw it again and again and again, she knew it was for real.
"What we normally see are small mice, not rats," Butler High principal Dr. Walter Reeves told News 12.
Dr. Reeves admits they have a rodent problem at the school, and it's not the first time a student has reported a Stuart Little sighting.
"Oh yeah, I'd say just about every winter. It's no huge problem," Dr. Reeves said.
But parents say...
"That's nasty," said parent Tiffany Warren. "They got to go to school like that. These kids got to eat the lunch. There's no telling if mice are getting on the food. They might have bacteria. These kids get sick, then what? They going to say we just got a little mice problem?"
The principal blames the cold weather and the old building for their unwelcome four-legged friends, but parents say it's no excuse.
"I wouldn't come to my job with rodents running around near my feet while I'm sitting at my desk," said parent Koren Wright. "Nobody should have to go to work or school in those conditions. It's inhumane."
Koren's daughter says she spotted three mice on Monday: one in class and two running out of the cafeteria.
Now Koren wants to know why the school board isn't taking it seriously.
"I just was disgusted. It was unbelievable that this went on this long and the continued from the previous year. When are you going to do something about it? I'm worried a student will get sick."
The principal says they do have traps set up inside and this is just a handful of small field mice they're dealing with, not large sewer rats.
The kitchen is inspected every month, and they haven't had any cleanliness problems so far.
Incidentally, new national research shows near a third of school cafeterias don't pass the clean test. In Minneapolis, half of the schools surveyed had mouse droppings in the kitchen.
Researchers looked at 20 jurisdictions across the country and found things dirty from counters to utensils.
The concern of course is outbreaks like E. coli or salmonella.