School evacuates 1,300 students following false widow spider sighting
An entire school was evacuated following a false widow spider alert.
On Friday, September 17, 1,300 students at Malcolm Arnold Academy in Northampton, UK, were evacuated from the building. The incident was provoked by a false widow spider alert, Unilad reports.
Although false widow spiders are known to bite, they rarely attack humans. However, the school board decided to send all year eight, nine, and 10 students home out of “caution.”
In an official statement, they said:
“We have today found a false widow spider in school. Some of you may remember this has happened in the past.
Pest control are on their way and the area is isolated, but to be cautious we would recommend that your child is collected as soon as you are able for years 8, 9 and 10.
Year 12 and 13 will be dismissed with consent. We will keep year 7 in school in a separate building away from the spider sighting.”
The school board stressed there is no cause for concern.
As per Mirror Online, the Malcolm Arnold Academy will reopen on Tuesday, September 21.
According to the statement, this wasn’t the first time the school has seen a false widow spider. Back in 2018, an infestation was discovered in the technology center department.
Thankfully, false widow spiders are not as dangerous as the black widow, whose bite is often deadly. In fact, as per the Wildlife Trusts, they “are not aggressive towards people, and generally don’t bite unless roughly handled.”