Did your student bring a hamster to school? Did your student bring a dead hamster to school? Did your student bring a dead hamster to school in a Ziploc baggie? Did your student bring a dead hamster to school, in a Ziploc bag that was tucked neatly in her purse? *
If you answered yes to all of these questions no need to freak out, just follow the simple guide to a happier you.
1.) DO NOT touch the creature! Unfortunately most teachers don't carry gloves, there are so many reasons why we should though, so many- have the student poke the bag to make sure no movement occurs.
- If you want to make a game of it and have all the students "poke the bag", you'll be the coolest teacher in school.
- This step is crucial, if you've seen Tommy Boy you know nothing worse can happen than a wild animal awakening in a panic, bent on destroying everything in their path. Make sure the Animal is indeed DEAD.
2.) Make sure you keep a neutral tone and calm body language, when questioning the student to figure out what has lead you to this moment. The last thing you want is to make the student/owner of the creature feel as if their sanity is in question.
3.) Establish the story of the true events that took place leading up to the hamster being stored in a purse. No confusion can be allowed because in the future when you are explaining to other teachers the situation you need to know if (a) the hamster was placed in the purse alive to be taken home later, but due to lack of air ventilation the animal quietly passed away or (b) the hamster was found dead and the purse was only temporary until the student located a final resting place.
The most important thing to understand is that no matter how you handle a student bringing a dead hamster to school inside their purse, you are teaching a student who is willing to carry around a dead animal with no issue- proceed with caution.
* All events discussed in this post are TRUE!