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Skunks take over Winnipeg school, forcing students to learn elsewhere


Students at a Winnipeg elementary school were forced to abandon their classrooms thanks to an 'uncomfortable smell' left behind by some skunks.

Students and staff members at Stevenson-Britannia School have been moved to different locations throughout the community after skunks made their way into a crawl space in the school.

"The smell of skunk was worse today upon arrival as there are some challenges eradicating the animal (s)," a letter posted on the door of the school said.

"As a result, for students who arrived at school today, we will relocate classes until the conditions improve."

Students have been learning in make-shift classrooms at Bord-Aire Community Club, Discovery Children's Centre and the Library and two extra classrooms at Linwood School.

It's noted in the letter that there are no toxins in the skunks' spray, but the smell is "uncomfortable for most."

The school is anticipating the situation will improve Friday and families will be updated on the situation. It is an in-service day on Friday, meaning the students don't have school.

Jane Couch, principal of the school, said in a statement that one skunk had been caught and relocated.

“We have deployed ozone generators to filter the air and have made adjustments to our HVAC system. We are continuing to monitor the situation,” Couch said.

Couch said there are no safety concerns, but the school is focused on removing the lingering odor to allow staff and students to return to school. She said the odor was “strong and pungent” at first, but has weakened.

“We expect students should be able to return to their classrooms by early next week once the odor is addressed,” she said.

Kristina Taplin, a parent at the school, said she received a letter explaining the situation early Tuesday morning.

"I find the entire situation a bit amusing," she said. "It did feel like the staff was trying to treat it lightheartedly, definitely trying to make sure everyone was comfortable, but also trying to figure out what was going on and what they could do."

Taplin said her two children in grades one and four were enjoying the change in scenery but acknowledged it has been more difficult for other students.

She said she was impressed by how quickly the other places were able to host the kids.

"It was really heartwarming and really just nice to know everybody is looking after the kids and making sure they are still able to go to school." Top Stories

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