CENTERVILLE -- It is a case of bats in the belfry, or attic in this case.
No one knows how many bats use Stewart Elementary School as a stop-over during spring migration, but there were quite a few taking up residence this year in the 32-year-old school building.
"It occurs at Stewart every year at this time. Bats are migratory," said Chris Williams of the Davis School District communications office. "Bats love to visit Stewart Elementary but we are not sure why."
Early this week, representatives from the Davis County Health Department and the Department of Agriculture were at the school to assess the situation, according to Williams.
"The kids are safe, the bats look healthy. They fly around in the early morning," Williams said. "They are mobile before the kids are at school."
Bob Ballew, Davis County Health Department public information officer, said that since there was no human exposure, the health department was not involved with the bats.
"We were mainly looking because of rabies. Since there was no human exposure, we don't do anything," Ballew said. "We caution folks and let parents know to tell their children not to touch a bat. They have such tiny claws and teeth we tell them not to touch them at all."
There were at least two bats who wanted to increase their education, one on the wall in a kindergarten classroom.
"They remained calm," Williams said of the teacher and students. "The teacher called the office and a custodian came and got the bat."
Bats are a protected species so they are relocated by animal control, Williams said.
"We have tried to plug up holes but they still get in. Our hope is that soon they will get to the point they move on," Williams said.
Williams said repellent was used to try to keep them out. It is non-toxic but the bats don't like it, he said.
"I think they are all gone," said Principal Vonzaa Hewitt. "The district had a guy put a natural repellent up there."
Of the two bats that actually entered the school, one was in her office.
"No one saw that one," Hewitt said. "They are kind of gross to me."
The school remained in session. And, on Tuesday letters were sent home to parents to let them know about the bats.
"This seems to occur every year," said Williams.
And, according to Hewitt, since the bats do return each year the students are not "freaking out."