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High school prank goes horribly wrong
Posted: 03 June 2006 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Student-Released Fowl Close School

Jun 2, 10:02 AM (ET)

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) - Six high school seniors in Fort Kent were charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief after a class prank went awry and ended up shutting down the school.

The six boys ordered 10 goslings and 45 chicks from an Indiana company and then set them loose in Community High School early Thursday morning, school officials said.

The pranksters put the birds in the school gym, in classrooms, in lockers, in offices and into a drawer of a teacher’s desk, said Principal Tim Doak. But the animals left their mark on floors, chairs and tables, forcing administrators to cancel school Thursday and Friday to clean up the mess.

The school will expect full restitution for cleanup costs, which are expected to run into the thousands of dollars, said Sandra Bernstein, superintendent of School Administrative District 27. The canceled days will be added to the end of the school year.

“It’s comical when you start thinking of chickens in your school, but it’s just another chapter in the book of school administration,” Doak said.

A teacher discovered the intruders before 6 a.m. after entering the building and hearing the birds running around the hallways, Bernstein said. When students arrived, they were taken to the school gym, which had been sterilized, before being sent home.

A crew of about 10 was enlisted to clean and disinfect all surfaces where the birds left a mess - about 70 percent of the school. The birds pose a public safety hazard because of salmonella bacteria, Bernstein said.

“It’s not funny when it’s a public health risk,” she said. “Salmonella is a very dangerous bacteria that can cause serious illness, particularly with anyone vulnerable or with immune system problems.”

The animals, none of which were harmed, were boxed up and taken to the police chief’s house, where they were expected to stay until they find new homes.

A court date has not been set and the incident is still under investigation, said Fort Kent Police Chief Kenneth Michaud.


Maybe these kids should have left the pranks up to their older college buddies?

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Posted: 03 June 2006 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hah.. My father was one of those responsible for the Great Orange Fight of Balboa High back in his day..

There was a commercial on at the time, extolling the orage-scentedness of a particular brand of kitchen cleaner, by having a huge pile of oranges tumble out of the cupboard when the housewife/actress opened it to get the stuff out.

My father and his buddies thought this was a great idea, and filled up a classmate’s nice big locker with several dozen California Grown. They then left on a school band trip, knowing that if they were not there, then it would be less likely that blame would be assigned to them.

Upon their return, they found… a mess. It seems that a great and mighty orange fight had taken place, using an abundant supply of ammunition, thoughtfully provided by unknown benefactors. The trick being that orange juice is known to actually *bleach* surfaces, especially when combined with hot So-Cal sun. As a result, even after the mess was cleaned, the cement in the area was nicely mottled. For more than a decade after.

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Posted: 03 June 2006 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I don’t think their prank went wrong.  It seems to have caused quite a stir.  Isn’t that the whole point?

So long as no one was eating duck poo…no one would have caught salmonella.  Initially, I thought they’d be worried about BIRD FLU.

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Posted: 04 June 2006 03:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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You dont really have to ingest it directly though, you could come in contact with it, not wash your hands and then sit down a while later and eat a burger. 

The adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” (Gram of Prevention, Kilo of cure for you metric people raspberry ) is always a good one to follow, especially since salmonella is not at all fun to have…

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Posted: 04 June 2006 04:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Emidawg - 04 June 2006 07:12 AM

You dont really have to ingest it directly though, you could come in contact with it, not wash your hands and then sit down a while later and eat a burger.

This is scare mongery.

I wonder why Merkins are not going out in daily life dressed in rubber gloves and with mouth caps.

You come in contact with so many potentially hazardous germs while daily moving about. When entering a public restroom in a pub or restaurant, while grabbing a hold in the underground, you name it. You think doves and other birds never poo on a park bench? Yet you sit there and eat your ice cream and burgers. They are not even disinfected, the rain washes it off and that’s it.

Of course that school needed to be cleaned up and using some household desinfectant while doing so is sane. Yet talking about a “public safety hazard” is ridiculous and one of that typical American things of hyperbole, where things are blown out of proportion. This is exactly why many other countries consider America to be somewhat weird.

Here in my country, the school pupils responsible for the prank would get the task of cleaning up, and anybody talking about a “public safety hazard” in this context would be laughed at (and when doing so in the press, he/she would be the target of all satyrical TV programs in the week following it).

Remember that over-protection from germs only creates people who are extra vulnerable, as they don’t build up resistance.

- LaMa, the cynical European

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Posted: 04 June 2006 05:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Maegan - 03 June 2006 07:49 PM

I don’t think their prank went wrong.  It seems to have caused quite a stir.  Isn’t that the whole point?

So long as no one was eating duck poo…no one would have caught salmonella.  Initially, I thought they’d be worried about BIRD FLU.


It continues to live on surfaces, and by touching those surfaces and putting your finger in your mouth by eating you are at risk. 

Oh, and by putting those poor animals in lockers and drawers, they ought to be charged with cruelty as well.

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Posted: 04 June 2006 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I think you are more at risk of salmonella in your average American Barbeque event, than in this prank case.

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Posted: 05 June 2006 12:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Scare mongering?  Salmonella is transmitted via the Fecal-oral route, as well as through contaminated meats, fish and eggs.  Proper sterilization IS the best way to protect against infection. 

Salmonella can cause diarrhea and dehydration, sometimes needing hospitalization, normal bowel function can often take months to be restored.  It can also cause long term effects in “Reiter’s Syndrome” which causes joint and eye problems.

I work in a Medical Laboratory as a technologist,  when a patient is diagnosed with Salmonellosis we are required to report it to the state because it is highly contagious.  This isnt one of your run of the mill pathogens that you come across on a daily basis.

From the CDC site

Can animals transmit salmonellosis to me?

Yes, many kinds of animals can pass salmonellosis to people. Usually, people get salmonellosis by eating contaminated food, such as chicken or eggs. However, animals can carry Salmonella and pass it in their feces (stool). Therefore, people can also get salmonellosis if they do not wash their hands after touching the feces of animals. Reptiles (lizards, snakes, and turtles), baby chicks, and ducklings are especially likely to pass salmonellosis to people. Dogs, cats, birds (including pet birds), horses, and farm animals can also pass Salmonella in their feces.

http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/diseases/salmonellosis.htm

Once again, prevention is the best sort of medicine!

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Posted: 05 June 2006 05:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Emidawg - 05 June 2006 04:18 AM

Salmonella can cause diarrhea and dehydration, sometimes needing hospitalization, normal bowel function can often take months to be restored.  It can also cause long term effects in “Reiter’s Syndrome” which causes joint and eye problems.

Yes, I once had a mild case, and I was very sick and did a bunch of reading on the subject.

I’ve no doubt that had the school not taken the actions they did, that at least a few people would have become very ill if not hospitalized.

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Posted: 05 June 2006 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Bebelicious - 04 June 2006 09:34 AM
Maegan - 03 June 2006 07:49 PM

I don’t think their prank went wrong.  It seems to have caused quite a stir.  Isn’t that the whole point?

So long as no one was eating duck poo…no one would have caught salmonella.  Initially, I thought they’d be worried about BIRD FLU.


It continues to live on surfaces, and by touching those surfaces and putting your finger in your mouth by eating you are at risk. 

Oh, and by putting those poor animals in lockers and drawers, they ought to be charged with cruelty as well.

I have to agree, they were brought in the night before, do they understand what kind of damage they’d do to those animals? They actually could have not been found, they could have died in a 1x1 space. Some kid might have been absent the day they put a chicken in his locker. It really disgusts me when people don’t really think when setting up pranks.

Don’t get me wrong I’m no dream assassin, but when lives are at risk, then your the idiot

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Posted: 05 June 2006 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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As I said before: cleaning up and using some desinfectant in the case of that school was a sane thing to do. No objection from me to that part. (and yes, I have had salmonella too once and it was not fun)

What I comment on is the whole hysteria this incident creates. THAT is over the top and, sorry to say, would likely not happen outside America.

You come across bird (and other animal)  poo everywhere you go: when you wash your car, picknick in the park etcetera. Do you proclaim your park benches and car hoods, as well as your barbeque meat,  “public safety hazards”?

These pranksters created an annoying mess (as well as, indeed, didn’t give thought to the welfare of the animals they used), but turning it into a case of “public safety hazard” only happens in a country where lawyers turn literally everything into lawsuits and people have lost their sense of proportion. Its hysteria.

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Posted: 05 June 2006 03:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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LaMa, I think you’re misusing the word ‘literally’.

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