The mouse problem in South high

Shanell Gordon, Staff Writer

South High has been having a problem with mice. Teachers, Students, and other staff members want the mice gone. This is not a new issue, mice have actually been apart of South for years, according to long time staff members. So what effects do mice have on the South community?

Freshmen La’Terra Grady had an experience with a mouse in South. “This one time I was in my spanish class and we were sitting down and this boy was like ‘it a mouse,’ and then it started running around in the class.”  Mice can interrupt the classroom environment and students learning.

Social Studies teacher Laura Lanik said, “sometimes if there’s a mouse running loose in my classroom it might affect my students because they begin to yell loudly and it disrupts my class.” 

Another thing that happened in Laniks class that caused a big learning disruption was when, according to Lanik, “there was a ceiling tile that was removed and a mice dropped down and landed onto one of the kids and fell to the floor and students started screaming while I was in the middle of a lesson.”

Grady had the idea that “we could keep food in the commons and maybe there won’t be so many mice in the classroom.” This would be a good thing to do according to administration, who do try to enforce a policy of food only in the commons, but with there being over 2,000 people in this building at once it may be hard to keep students from eating upstairs. 

Health teacher Kari Field thought the same thing, “we could keep the food in the commons.” However, Lanik strongly disagreed when she said “I think not letting kids eat is not really a good solution,” a lot of other students and staff seem to think the same thing, which is evident in class food policies. Many teachers allow students to eat in their classroom, as long as they clean up after themselves, despite requests from administration.

Lanik also thinks that “if we could get the mice to go away it most likely would be temporarily.” There are a lot of school rules regulating the use of certain cleaning supplies that would help the mice go away. Plus, since the building is so old it may be hard to keep them out. The size of South also makes extermination difficult.

Additionally, there are health risks associated with having rodents inside. “This is so unsanitary,” said Lanik. According to, the presence of rodent droppings can cause airborne illnesses and be dangerous to breathe in once it is dry. Urine can also cause illness in humans, such as hantavirus, and contamination of food can cause a number of issues.

 English teacher Mary Manor emphasized the issue my pointing out that  “we have little kids down stairs. There’s babies in the TAP room and they could get sick from all the germs.” 

Lanik explained that the mice in the building are truly not a new issue: “I have been teaching here for 23 years and as long as I have been here, we have had a problem with the mice.”

“There could be some extermination done on breaks when were not here,” said English Teacher Mary Manor. There are rules against chemicals being used in school because of safety regulations. 

Manor got information about how to fix the problem and they said, “my friend said the upfront cost was like $5,000 and $2,000.” This may be a lot of money but based on how long the mice have been present in South, this next step may be the only option left to try.