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Squirrel Invades N.J. Classroom, Gives Second Graders Quite A Tale To Tell

Furry Creature Scratches And Jumps His Way Around No. 38 School Basement
A squirrel is seen at the Fort Lee Historic Park - Fort Lee, NJ - Sep 29, 2010 - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Squirrel – File / Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Some second graders got a sudden and scary wildlife lesson on Thursday after a squirrel jumped in to their classroom and on to three of the kids.

“They usually don’t attack me but today one of them did,” 7-year-old Tyhee Harmon told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

Collecting nuts, climbing fences and trees was not enough for one wily squirrel at James F. Murray No. 38 Elementary School.

Invading a basement classroom was.

It was a shock for little Harmon, his second grade teacher and his classmates.

“It jumped in the window,” Tyhee said. “Everybody was scared.”

The squirrel landed on the teachers’ desk and then jumped three more times from kid to kid.

“One of them got cut on the shoulder. It wasn’t bleeding and the other one got cut on the thumb. It was bleeding,” Tyhee said.

And then it was Tyhee’s turn.

“It just jumped to my head and jumped off,” he said, adding when asked why he thought the animal reacted that way, “’Cause it was scared.”

The classroom emptied out, and a custodian managed to corner the squirrel and get it out of the building alive.

“I went to the nurse’s office and she called my father,” Tyhee said.

“She said, ‘He’s okay. A squirrel jumped on his head a little bit,’” Douglas Harmon said. “The nurse cleared him. I just want to make sure he’s okay.”

Tyhee missed most of the school day but the learning continued at his home as he and his father went online to learn as much as they could about squirrels.

What they learned is squirrels very rarely transmit any diseases to humans. CBS 2’s Carlin checked with an expert.

“In fact there are no instances of humans getting rabies from a squirrel ever in this country,” said Rich Weddle, the director of Animal Husbandry at Liberty Science Center.

Tyhee said he’ll write a story about this, but in his version the squirrel is kept by the class as a pet — instead of getting back outside.

A spokeswoman for Jersey City Schools said despite what students said it is not clear if the squirrel really did get in through a window or some other way.

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