If The Daily Caller has said it once, we’ve said it 1,000 times: America’s elementary school teachers need to be careful because a huge snake can fall right out of the classroom ceiling right beside their desks and almost hit their heads.
Such a scene unfolded on Tuesday at Walls Elementary School in the tiny Mississippi River town of Walls, Mississippi (pop.: 1,162), reports Memphis NBC affiliate WMC-TV.
“I don’t understand how it could have got up in the ceiling,” John Thompson, who has a grandchild at the school, told the station. “It may have crawled into the duct work or something.”
The fairly rural school is located in a field — as schools tend to be, TheDC notes — and the location is reportedly home to snakes, small animals and other critters.
“They’re plowing this time of year and it makes the snakes and frogs and everything else move out of the area,” Thompson, the grandfather, noted.
Parents have expressed concern.
School officials say they are doing the best they can.
“We can’t stop nature but we can take combative actions,” school district spokeswoman Katherine Nelson told WMC-TV.
School district officials said they have no other reports of snakes infesting the grade school. To be on the safe side, though, they have arranged to have the whole building searched and treated with repellent to deter the slithering creatures.
The Memphis Zoo identified the snake that fell from the classroom ceiling as a gray rat snake.
Gray rat snakes — also called chicken snakes — are indigenous to a large area ranging from Indiana to Florida, according to the website Reptiles Magazine. They tend to be dark gray (thus the name) and sometimes brown.
The “hearty” snakes grow to between four and six feet long as adults. They are nonvenomous.
Snake infestations in America’s public schools have happened before.
Last year, a baby rattlesnake bit a teacher on her thumb at a middle school in the suburbs of Phoenix. The teacher was attempting to shoo the snake out of the cafeteria, but her hand got too close. (RELATED: Teacher Bitten By RATTLESNAKE At Middle School)