The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

Animal kingdom, South style

Getting a glimpse into the lives of pampered class pets
Evanny Nunez
Snakes and more make their home in the hallways of South’s science rooms.

South High has become home to a collection of class pets ranging from slithering snakes to a freshwater shark, guppies, and even a 17-year-old plecostomus (a suckermouth catfish), as well as multiple types of shrimp hosted on the second-floor hallway.

Veronica, Houdini, and Romeo are long-time residents at South High and have been witnessing the comings and goings of various animal companions for years. These snakes are the pioneers of the class pet legacy at South and have held their ground for an impressive 15 years, meaning they might be approaching their late 20s.

These creatures have found their habitats in rooms 224, 223, and 225, as well as the second-floor hallway. The responsibility of caring for this diverse group falls on the shoulders of dedicated science teachers such as John Tripp, Mike Peterson, Sara Point, Scott Bartlett, and Ben Hannah, along with assistance from a few committed students.

Point, one of the caregivers of these creatures, commented on the pros and cons of having class pets. “The hardest thing about having class pets is when we have breaks,” as the absence of the caregivers can disrupt their routine. If the power was to go out, the creatures’ habitats would be disrupted and potentially harmful to them.

“The best thing about having pets in the classroom is that students get to enjoy them,” Point added. The presence of class pets is noted to be a source of joy for students, helping with relaxation and offering unique opportunities for them to take on responsibilities by caring for the pets.

Despite the positive impact, school districts in general have been steering away from the tradition of class pets. As Point pointed out, “they’re too much of a liability. Say someone was to be allergic, it would fall back on the district … They also cost a lot of money to maintain.” South, however, offers students a chance to connect with the animal kingdom within the school walls.

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Evanny Nunez, Staff Writer
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  • J

    John JohnJan 10, 2024 at 1:22 pm

    Julio feels left out 🙁