Bat Problems Continue at Somerville ISD

By: Meredith Stancik
By: Meredith Stancik

The superintendent thinks the whole thing has been blown out of proportion, and a bat expert we talked to says students just have the wrong idea about the furry creatures.

"When they're out in the their own environment bats have no desire to be around humans--they're out forging, they mind their own business," Missy Young with Texas A&M University's veterinary School said.

Young gave us her opinion about a recent accusation by a Somerville High School student.

The student told us a scratch on her arm came from a bat flying around the school hallway.

"If I had to give my professional opinion in all my experience that I've had with bats it's not typical to receive a scratch that long," Young said.

Somerville ISD is battling a growing problem, students missing class because they fear the bats. Earlier this week superintendent Charles Camarillo said they're permitting the absences.

But now more students are skipping class, and Camarillo says the school district is asking the state not to count those absences because each day a student misses class, the district loses funding. He says it's over something that has just been blown out of proportion.

Young says the student's remarks are a little far fetched.

"It could be possible but considering that bats actually roost during the day it’s very unlikely she would come in contact with that unless she somehow approached it," Young said.

The girl claiming to have been scratched by the bat, sticks to her story even after we told her what the expert said. On Thursday she received the rabies vaccine from the Brazos County Health Department as a precaution.

Young agrees but says it's very rare to contract the disease. Less than one half of one percent of bats have rabies.

"You’re more likely to be struck by lightening or win the lottery than get bit by a bat that has rabies," Young said.

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