Houston school cancels classes due to bats

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ByMiya Shay via KTRK logo
Monday, October 3, 2016
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School cancelled classes due to bat infestation.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- St. Francis Episcopal School cancelled classes on Monday due to a bat infestation, but classes are set to resume Tuesday morning.

Last week, the exclusive private school said one of its workers noticed a bat odor. It then contacted wildlife experts who confirmed that a large bat colony was living in the school's walls. The experts spent the week trying to remove the bats.

However, bats were visible to parents and students throughout the week.

"We were there Wednesday night for a reception, and there was just one bat flying around and kids were jumping up trying to touch it, catch it, and it finally flew out the door," said Katherine Braddock, a mom with twins at St. Francis.

"They were in the roof of the big theater and then so they had to come and get them out with something," recalled student Skylar Bressani. "So one morning they were just flying around backwards and forwards... Some people were scared of the bats, but some people were trying to catch the bats."

The school says on Friday, a bat actually flew and brushed a female student's hair. The girl was not bitten, but did have to get rabies shots.

"We have been in contact with the family of the student," said school spokesperson Joy Hilley. "She is completely fine. I'm sure she was frightened when it happened, and we understand that."

St. Francis officials say they cancelled classes "out of an abundance of caution" and sent a notification from the St. Francis alert system.

The wildlife removal company hired by the school told Eyewitness News that it was a large colony, with possibly several hundred bats, that had made its home at the school. It also believes that all the bats have been safely removed, and gave the school an "all clear" to return to classed on Tuesday.