Snakes And Mice Falling From Ceilings At This Kentucky School

Despite efforts to rid this Kentucky High school of infestation, a teacher reported a rat snake he found clinging to his classroom telephone, while other teachers report seeing mice in the ceilings.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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Eastern Kentucky has already had a rocky start for the 2022-2023 school year after receiving historic floods this summer. Now another issue is plaguing at least one school: Infestation. A Kentucky high school teacher came to work to find a rat snake on his desk phone and admitted on social media that the school is plagued with cockroaches, spiders, and mice. 

Nathan Spalding is an English teacher at Henry Clay High School in Lexington. He came to work four days ago to find the snake curled up against his phone. A colleague helped the Kentucky high school teacher identify the reptile as a young rat snake. 

The harmless creature is not poisonous and was thought to have fallen from the ceiling. This is due to reports from other teachers that mice have fallen from the ceiling during class. How the Kentucky high school plans to deal with the issue for now is unclear, but the current location was built in the 1970s and is listed to be updated or replaced in the future. 

It is not uncommon for a few pests to enter large buildings as cooler weather sets in, but the recent flooding may have also prompted this increased infestation. Many schools across the area have been scrambling to clean up the damage and have even had to push back school year start dates. Although this was not disclosed in the Kentucky high school’s statement about the incident in question, school officials have noted that professional exterminators were hired to handle the situation last week. 

Repellent sprays and traps have been set out. This can sometimes lead pests to flee their hideouts and become more visible as they are removed and pushed out of areas. Regardless, the question of the Kentucky high school’s need for better care has been called into question. 

Just last month, a Tennessee school’s roof collapsed and injured three school workers. The roof was 40 years old and not on the list of buildings to be inspected for updates due to a district policy to only assess structures aged 70 years or more. How each area handles building updates and repairs depends on district planning as well as local and state regulations, yet in the case of schools that are facing infestations — like the Kentucky high school, the issue is not just facing building wear and tear, but the spread of deadly diseases and other public health risks concerning wild animals falling into classrooms, disrupting lessons and potentially harming students and teachers. 

Kentucky high school

The Kentucky high school claims that they have already been utilizing pest control services, yet the problem has persisted, and so further action may be necessary. Whether the infestation is a result of the recent floods, creatures fleeing the traps and repellents, or due to a deteriorating building Mr. Spalding and his students have been subjected to unsuitable learning conditions — as have the other teachers who came forward. In order to properly serve the community, Henry Clay High School officials need to offer better short and long-term solutions.