Sunday, November 21, 2010

Animal Threats in the School Community (Natural Threats)


Whether it is a freak occurrence like a deer charging a reflection or a human OR a bear which is startled or hungry accidents and attacks can occur to affect our school community.

ALASKA BEAR ATTACK AT SCHOOL BUS STOP:  A 12 year old boy walking alone to his school bus stop in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District in Seward, Alaska was attacked by a female brown bear, but escaped serious injuries. It was dark, and the student saw the bear approaching with cubs and turned to leave, but the bear caught up with him and knocked him to the ground. The boy knew to cover up and his backpack bore the brunt of the attack. The bear lost interest and departed. He was taken to Providence Seward Hospital and was released. 

Lesson Learned:
  • Parents are urged to stay with their children while waiting for the school bus to arrive
  • Garbage left in the area is a draw for bears as a food source.

DEER JUMPS THRU OHIO SCHOOL WINDOW:  A big antlered buck deer charged through a glass window pane and into a student union at an Ohio Denison University before it was killed. The deer was locked inside the room before it was killed. It is believed the deer saw his reflection in the glass and mistook it for another male deer and charged the image through the glass.

DEER CRASHES THRU WINDOW AT DESALES UNIVERSITY (PA) BEFORE CLASS: On November 3, at 8:54 a.m., a 6-point, 300 pound dressing weight buck slammed through a first floor window a few minutes before a History and Philosophy of Sport class was about to begin. About 6 students were in the classroom at the time. The buck was chasing a doe up to the window. After crashing through the window, the buck began to thrash, kicking over desks and backpacks and scattering papers throughout the classroom. The commotion caused student Harry Getty ’13, to exit through the window. “I didn’t see anything until I heard a thud against the wall and then a huge crash, a black thing landed right next to me …. I saw its legs start kicking and knocking over bags and when I saw the antlers I knew what it was so I tried to jump through the bottom window, but since the blind was still down I banged my head on a metal bar before I landed outside. In hindsight, I probably should have gone through the big hole the deer had just made, because I cut my hands up on the glass that fell on the counter,” said Getty.

Getty sustained cuts on his hands, forehead and thigh, but was immediately treated by EMS and was taken to the hospital. 2 members of Campus Police arrived at the scene after receiving multiple emergency calls.   “When we arrived on the scene we found an injured buck in the classroom with one of its rear legs broken to the extent where it could not make the leap back out of the classroom,” said Officer Tempinski. Because of the deer’s injuries and out of concern for student welfare, Tempinski decided to put the deer down and two shots were fired from to do so.  The classroom was cleaned extensively and was in use the next day.

Points for Discussion:
  • CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE: Not every school is located in an urban environment and even so, sometimes nature invades even heavily populated areas due to overpopulation. For example, in some suburban areas of New Jersey their have been an over population of bears and increased opportunity for bear-human interaction.
  • SURVIVAL KNOWLEDGE: The boy who was attacked by the brown bear had been taught to play dead in order to survive. This knowledge may have saved his life.
  • SEASONAL ANIMAL THREATS: Various animals behavior changes during various seasons and can as discussed above, can affect our school communities.
  • RECOVERY PHASE of EM PROCESS: Post incident part of an incident requires tasks in the RECOVERY PHASE such as counseling (kids afraid of waiting at bus stops, terror of a 300 lb buck jumping thru their class window) and class room clean up and repair.

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