Teacher Leslie Vanlet was instructing her Coopersville, Mich. East Elementary students yesterday about the demeanor and characteristics of animals when an unannounced (albeit somewhat appropriate) visual aid entered her third grade classroom–a six-point whitetail buck.
It was the buck’s method of entry that probably did the most to disrupt the demeanor among the 23 students seated in the classroom. That’s because it shattered a double-pane window and began galloping through the classroom, wildly slinging a set of mini-blinds hooked onto its antlers while leaving a trail of broken glass, tipped chairs and dumped desks.
During a lull in the action as the buck stood in a corner, Vanlet was able to shuttle the children safely out of the room with the aid to two other teachers.
“There was this horrific crash and glass shards were flying everywhere and you wonder what in the heck is going on,” the first-year teacher told the Grand Rapids Press. “It happened so quickly and yet it all seemed like slow motion.”
Principal Marty Alexander told the paper that one boy was treated for a small cut he received from flying glass. He said that one little girl was “emotionally shaken” after the buck brushed against her.
There was no report on the emotional (or physical) impact the whole ordeal had on the young buck, which exited the room the same way it had entered.
In addition to the mess the estimated 160-pound deer left behind and the turmoil it created, the children have something else to help remind them about the day the buck crashed their classroom: a cracked two-point antler that was discovered on one of the student’s notebooks.
“I’ll be able to tell this story for years,” the teacher said.
And now she has the broken forked tine to use as a far less-disruptive visual aid.