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High School Class Going to the Birds

June 18, 1987

I have worked in a shipyard, a Georgia country school, a Philadelphia city school, a restaurant, a supper club, a women's apparel shop, a drugstore, a YMCA and a community center; but until now I have never worked before where there are pigeons roosting in my workplace.

You see, it's like this. I teach in the Compton Unified School District. This spring, workmen finally installed a heating unit in my classroom. But alas, they left a square hole of 24 inches in the ceiling. Now, somehow, two pigeons got into the classroom and are having great fun flying about at night leaving their calling cards everywhere and leaving the shades on the ceiling lights at half-mast.

When the pigeons are chased during the daytime to vacate the classrooms, they simply fly through the black ceiling hole to their roost in the rafters. Then their nightly antics are repeated all over again.

So, if it is excitement you seek on your job, for sheer unprecedented, unrelenting, undaunted, unusual and even bizarre excitement, you should come to the Compton Unified School District. You won't be disappointed, for even though you may think that Compton Unified is the pits, you can never, never, never say that it is dull.

GLORIA H. ANDERSON

Teacher, Centennial High School, Compton

Editor's Note: A number of Anderson's students also wrote about the pigeon problem. A selection of their letters follows.

I am sitting in my third-period class in Room 45, which is just like any other room . . . except that we have pigeons roosting in the rafters. We have experienced the unthinkable. Constant chirping during class time is a daily occurrence that disturbs us all very much. Also, we find bird droppings on our desks. Can you believe this? Well, I am living through it every day, and I cannot believe it myself.

The pigeons were not invited and I want them out of my classroom.

O.G. McCLINTON III

Our fine Supt. Ted Kimbrough is in his fine office and I somehow don't believe he is having this problem with pigeons. Yet, we the students are having to clean up bird droppings instead of brushing away pencil erasures. It seems this room is going to the birds. I cannot sit here waiting for my head to become a bird's nest or a bulls-eye.

YVETTE HILL

Every day in my English IV class, our pigeons are there. The funny part of it all is that they seem to like it here and refuse to leave permanently. I guess that all is well if it ever ends.

FESIA A. DAVENPORT

It may sound strange, but it is true (about the pigeons). On one occasion, while sitting in our second-period class, a pigeon flew through a broken window, circled the class and headed for the hole in the ceiling. They create not only a mess but a serious health hazard.

KELVAN GAMBLE

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