Parents satisfied with school's response to bats

Crews continue to look for bats around campus

Author: Kumasi Aaron, Reporter, weekend anchor, kaaron@wjxt.com
Published On: Mar 05 2014 04:26:33 PM EST   Updated On: Mar 05 2014 08:18:34 PM EST
Bats at local school
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Nearly a week after discovering bats on campus, school officials did a walk through of Abess Park Elementary on Wednesday to assess the situation.

This comes one day after sending a letter to parents assuring them their students are safe and that crews are working to get rid of the problem.

Officials said they found three bats last week on campus near an exterior wall away from the classrooms.

Crews were around school grounds again Wednesday, some even on the roof looking for bats. The district hasn't yet said what the outcome of the walk-through was, but some parents say they feel confident the school is working hard.

The letter sent home Tuesday details a plan of action, including daily monitoring since last week. Parent Lonnie Weeks said he's not worried about his son's safety.

"As long as it's being taken care of now and they are trying to find all the areas to keep them from coming in, it's not much more they can do," he said. "And since nobody's gotten hurt, I don't feel too concerned."

The letter said school workers sealed the area where they believed the bats came in and have created a one-way exit door to get any remaining bats out.

"Right now I'm OK with the whole thing," said Susan Bence, whose daughter attends the school. "Until someone tells me to keep her home, I'm going to keep going like I've been going."

Most parents waiting to pick up their students Wednesday said they felt satisfied with the school's response to the problem.

"I think they're probably doing the best job that they can," Mary Lou Sinclair said. "I'm sure that it's a thing that's not easy to solve, and bats always seem kind of creepy."

Some parents said their students have noticed a smell of urine in the building. As the school works to make sure there are no more sightings of bats on campus, parent Jennifer Mitchell hopes they find a resolution soon.

"It's a wild creature, so you know, I am concerned," she said. "I just don't know how long it'll take, you know what I'm saying? And that's what concerns me."

The school said no bats were spotted Tuesday or Wednesday.