Sampson County Schools is taking aim at a problem in the Union district, and with special permission from Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton, they’ll be using a shotgun to resolve it.
Administrators will be headed down to Union High School, shotguns in hand, to scare away over 100 geese that have nestled themselves in and around the school this summer.
“We have an issue with the geese down there at Union High School,” explained superintendent Dr. Ethan Lenker to Board of Education members earlier this week. “They have just about overtaken the place.”
The superintendent explained that previous attempts to scare the animals off have proven unsuccessful.
“We have tried the cannon at the football games, that didn’t work,” he said. “We used some of the ROTC bullets, but they were not loud enough. We didn’t know what to do, so we talked with the sheriff and he said as long as the board agreed to it, we could go out and try to shoot some guns to scare them off.”
With some of the Board of Education members snickering, Lenker assured them it was a serious issue.
“They do what geese do best and leave presents behind,” he said. “It is a mess.”
“It is all over the sidewalks there and the kids try to walk around it,” said board member G.H. Wilson. “It is just a really big mess out there.”
The geese are expected to flock around the school for at least another few weeks — the season doesn’t open until Sept. 1 — and with students returning to classrooms next week, the issue took on more urgency.
“We are not going to shoot them,” assured Lenker, “we are just going to try and scare them away. According to administrators down there, it started with just five or so geese and now there are over 150.”
“They are migratory, but they come and don’t leave,” interjected board chairman Telfair Simpson, recalling a similar incident in the Lakewood district a few years back.”They came and didn’t leave; we finally had to get permits to get rid of them.”
After some discussion, Simpson asked for a board vote.
“Is everybody OK with taking the steps that need to be taken to get rid of the geese?” he asked.
The board, minus absent members Faye Gay and Dewain Sinclair, voted to allow the guns to be shot only as a means of scaring the geese away from the school.
If the geese are not scared away by the attempt other options, board members said, will be considered after Sept. 1.
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