ONLY ON 3: Parents worried about snakes in school
snakesinschool300.jpg

RIEGELWOOD, NC (WWAY) -- First it was snakes on a plane. Now it's snakes in a school. But this is not a movie. It's real life, and it has parents concerned about their children's safety.

So far eight snakes have been found at Acme Delco Elementary School. Most recently, a student found a snake Thursday in the computer lab coiled up in a basket used for recyclable paper.

"I just really don't want a child to be bitten by a snake, especially if they're poisonous," said Angel Simmons, who's son attends the school..

Principal Janet Hedrick said snake experts have identified them as non-venomous corn snakes.

"Of course I am very concerned that there's any intrusion into our building that would frighten children or frighten adults or pose any kind of threat to our children," Hedrick said.

Hedrick thinks the snakes came in through the outdoor freezers this summer to look for water, but some parents think the school has rats. Hedrick says exterminators are inspecting the building.

"They have pulled out everything and looked under it, looked around it, sealed all cracks," Hedrick said. "They're sealing every crack they can find today, so we're taking all the precautions we know how."

"You can't technically look for snakes really good if the children are still in the school," Simmons said.

Hedrick said the school used its call alert system to notify parents, but not everyone got the call.

"I have to get a text message from another parent telling me there's snakes in the school and the school can't contact me at all? They have my numbers, they have my e-mails, they have my address," concerned parents Heather Coleman. "It's a lack of communication when there's snakes in the school and we're not being told about it."

Hedrick said, "We're doing all that we can do to make sure that our children are safe, and not only that they're safe, but that they feel safe."

Hedrick said there very well could be more snakes, but again, she said they are not dangerous and they have maintenance crews constantly coming in to check the school.

Columbus County Schools Superintendent Dan Strickland said the school contacted a state risk control specialist to see if there was anything else they could do. The specialist sent back a list of inspection recommendations, which the school has already followed.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

Yeah, they are ferocious. One time I saw one kill a mouse in just 10 minutes. Well, it took 2 tries. I do hope your children can defend themselves against those vicious beasts. Watch out, some of them get about 10ft long and have these 5 inch fangs. We should hunt them all down because they are so dangerous. Seriously, the prey of a corn snake (mice and rats) will give you a very nasty infection with a bite. It's called first aid, use it.

I've had it with these mo-f'in snakes in these mo-f'in schools!

That sure is a pretty snake. Stop freaking out, they dont eat much.

I guess you haven't seen Snakes on a Plane...

So if they believe the snakes found so far are non-venomous, who say poisonous ones haven't gained access just as these so called non-poisonous snakes have?? Any time you have a wild animal, snake, insect or any other thing not belonging, it is the school's responsibility to be 100% (not 99%) but completely sure there is no danger to the children. And even if they are 100% sure these things aren't venomous, what about the mental well-being of these children? Children have no way of distinguishing a poisonous snake from a non-poisonous snake. I'm sure any person, much less a child being surprised by a snake where it does NOT belong, would be traumatized. This is a country, backwards, southern school. These farmers think it is no big deal, but it is! The school needs to be shut down and hire some professional pest control/exterminators QUICK!

You don't really know much about snakes do you? Maybe you should take this opportunity to learn about all the dangerous snakes in NC so you and your can identify them. There are 6 you need to lookout for in NC. Cotton Mouth, Copperhead, Coral, and the 3 types of rattlers (timber, diamondback and pygmy). Any other snake will most likely try to get away from you the moment it sees you. PS, Dogs bite lots of people, but we don't exterminate all of the dogs we find.

The school is out in the country....and yes, a poisonous snake could easily get in there....as it could at ANY rural school.

Other than that, your post is a bunch of hysterical tripe. No one is going to be "traumatized" by a corn snake, and maybe YOUR kids can't tell the difference between a corn snake and a venomnous snake, but the kids that go to that school can.

Why not head back North, Chicken Little? It's obvious that pigeons, squirrels and rats are all you can handle.

I agree 100%. I live in the area and if I had children in elementary school I certainly would not be sending them back until this issue had been resolved. Country or not my children and I are scared of snakes and I am sure a lot of those children will be traumatized by this.

Some of you all sound like you have never been outside of Riegelwood? Stop getting on the net and showing your ignorance. Snakes are part of life and we have to deal with them. Get an education on snakes and stop living based on the fearful myths about snakes that you have heard from other uneducated people in your family. I have seen homes in the Riegelwood area that I wouldn't even sleep in because I would be scared of something more than a snake. For God's sake, you live in the Green Swamp of the Coastal Plain Region. Snakes are everywhere. Deal with them.

How can you not be concerned when snakes are hanging out of ceilings and laying in floors!!!!!! People get a grip. How r u so sure there are not posionous snakes in the school as well. These are our children we are talking about. I was borned and raised in Riegelwood. So because of this I'm not suppose to be afraid of snakes????? This school should have been closed years ago.