Student Brings Live Bat To Greenwich's Whitby School

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A student at Whitby School brought a live bat to a science class last week. Pictured is a Little Brown Bat, the most common bat species in the northeast. The species brought to the school has not been identified.
A student at Whitby School brought a live bat to a science class last week. Pictured is a Little Brown Bat, the most common bat species in the northeast. The species brought to the school has not been identified. Photo Credit: Flickr user USFWS Headquarters

GREENWICH, Conn. – UPDATED 2 p.m. A student at the Whitby Upper School in Greenwich brought a live bat to school last week with the knowledge of the student's parents, according to an e-mail sent to parents from Whitby Head of School Bryan Nixon.

According to the e-mail, the bat was found in the student's home and brought to the school's science department. The staff immediately placed the bat in a live animal container and removed it from student access.

The bat was carried into school in a shopping bag, according to the e-mail. Nixon assured parents that no student was ever in danger of being bitten by the animal.

"We are confident that no one has been in direct contact with the bat," Nixon said in the e-mail. "At no time was the bat removed from the bag and the bat was only transported through the second floor corridor to the Science laboratory."

Nixon added that no other area or school section was affected by the incident and that the Greenwich Health Department was contacted for consultation.

"We do not anticipate any cause for concern, but we will be sure to let you know if the Health Department suggests any additional measures," Nixon said in the e-mail.

Nixon went on to remind parents and students that live animals are not allowed in the school without prior authorization from the Head of School.

John Palomaki, a spokesman for the school, said that on the Greenwich Health Department's recommendation, the bat was exterminated and tested for rabies. Those tests came back negative.

"The Whitby School actively encourages students to be engaged in their learning and discovery," Palomicki said. "Fortunately Whitby School has developed protocols and responses in the event of various types of incidents, which helped the school to properly and efficiently address the issue."

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Probably because bats are the most common transmitters of rabies, which has no cure and is almost 100% fatal. If the bat had tested positive, quite a few kids and teachers in that school would be getting the rabies shots as a preventative measure right about now. The story could have been a bit more specific as to why handling a bat is dangerous and a health concern.

Daily voice has gotten bad with their reporting. In the past it was worth reading..now? Not so much

How is this story newspaper worthy?

Because the bat was not registered, and the boy had not undergone a background check before carrying it. Was the school put in lockdown?