Several media outlets in the United Kingdom reported that a squirrel on a rampage caused terrified children to be evacuated from a playground. The squirrel-related incident was confirmed by school officials, but they say that media was “greatly exaggerating” the story.
The Watford Observer reported that “terrified children at a Watford school were forced to evacuate the playground after a rampant squirrel caused havoc in the grounds.” The reporter claims that a teacher had to herd the children at Chater Infants School back into the safety of the building after an “unusually aggressive” grey squirrel disrupted their afternoon playtime earlier this month. Headteacher at the Southsea Avenue school, Mrs. Bal-Richards, said that the squirrel was a “little aggressive” and that they would be “monitoring the situation.”
“We did have an incident where we had a squirrel. It is very uncommon for a squirrel to be a little aggressive. It was a little bit tempered. We will be monitoring the situation and the caretaker is being extra vigilant.”
The initial report claimed that the students were evacuated from the playground because of the squirrel and that a teacher was scratched by the squirrel. However, an official statement released by Charter Infant School notes that the report was greatly exaggerated and no squirrel “caused havoc” or “terrified” children. The report went on to further attack the reporter by saying the article was “poorly written.”
“A recent article on the Watford Observer website and also in the local free paper today about a squirrel in the playground a few weeks ago may have caused you some concern this week. We did have a curious and bold squirrel in the playground during Golden Time a few weeks ago; I would like to assure you that the children were not at risk. If there had been a serious concern I would have written to you immediately. The teachers and I spoke to the children in assembly about how to behave around pets and other animals. There is no substance to this article, it is poorly written and greatly exaggerates an occurrence in the playground. I am sorry if this has caused you any concern.”
This isn’t the first time a curious squirrel has caused an issue. A single squirrel caused a power outage for around 2,000 Silicon Valley residents.
What do you think about the squirrel who was a “little aggressive” causing so much media trouble for the small school? Should the reporter apologize for causing the issues?