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If so, a snake can get in your house. Snakes can get in through some amazingly small cracks, and corn snakes are notorious for doing it at this time of year. They are looking for a place to den up for Winter. You simply cannot "snake-proof" any building, be it a school or your home.

Some of the hysterical overreaction on this page is so far over the top, it's laughable. These are corn snakes! They're not going to hurt or traumatize any child who has not been pre-programmed by a parent who is terrified of snakes. You recover them, take them a few miles down the road to an area of open fields and woods and release them. If you're not sure how to safely recover the snake, call in someone who does.

Accept it, we live in snake country. The largest rattlesnake ever found in NC, an Eastern Diamondback who thought she was a telephone pole, was located only a couple of miles from this school. Right now the pit vipers are giving birth and there will be small copperheads all over the place. Northern and Northeastern New Hanover County are chock full of copperheads, and they're even in the woods near Creekwood. (Crack addicted snakes?) I saw one within 100 yards of FedEx on 23rd Street.

You're NOT going to get away from them and if they come to you (as is happening at this school) you simply deal with them as you encounter them once you have taken all common sense precautions.

The bottom line is that snakes are just as much a part of nature as cute, fuzzy bunny rabbits and pretty birds. They serve an important function in keeping down the rodent population, and with plague and hanta virus killing more people every year globally than snakebites, the snakes are a far better deal than the rodents.

The worst thing a parent can do is pass on his or her own irrational fear of snakes to their children. Teach them to keep their eyes open, leave the snake alone, and notify an adult if they see one....and PLEASE don't try to bring one home as a pet. "Snake" is to "pet" what Courtney Love is to modesty and moderation.

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