8 bats removed from Blackshear Elementary, students moved from classrooms

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A number of third-grade students and staff have been displaced from part of an east Austin school while it works to remove bats from the area.

Principal Rick Garner told the community in a letter that eight bats had been removed from Blackshear Elementary School, located at 1712 E. 11th St., on Thursday.

“One student did come in contact with one of the bats, however the bat only touched on the student’s jacket,” Garner wrote. “Austin/Travis County Animal Control Services was called and the bat will be tested.”

Garner said other bats have been removed from the school previously and all have tested negative for rabies.

One bat was found Feb. 19, but the problem really came to light Feb. 24. The next day, more bats were removed, and the school worked with Austin Independent School District to begin relocating the bats and sealing up openings. It says once all are gone, a cleaning crew will replace ceiling tiles in Room 216 and “thoroughly clean” it and room 219, as well as second floor hallways in the 200 wing.

Everyone has been moved to the 100 and 300 wings of the school, Garner said.

“Right now, we are targeting Wednesday, March 4 as the day that third grade students return to their normal classrooms,” he wrote. “Before that happens we will make sure that the bat activity has ceased and that all surfaces are clean.”

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