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Old 05-01-22, 12:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Classroom Snake Options

Hello Snake People,
I am a middle school classroom teacher. I am seriously thinking of getting a snake as a classroom pet. I am looking for feedback, suggestions, or ideas. I have researched this for months, but could use a few extra brains to help figure some things out.

Question 1: Is bringing a snake into the classroom with 30 13-year-olds an, inherently, bad idea?

Question 2: I am considering rosy boas, ball pythons, and spotted pythons. Are there positives or negatives to these species you would like to mention? I understand the basics of each species; I am specifically looking for how you think they would do in a classroom environment.

Question 3: While I understand the “all animals can bite” cliche, I need to know which, if any, of these species is likely to bite a student. For obvious reasons, I cannot have a snake in school who occasionally bites students. I also need to know what “unlikely to bite” means. For example, if a ball python is “unlikely to bite,” does this mean it will probably live for its entire life without defensive biting, or it will only defensively bite once every few weeks?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts,
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Old 05-01-22, 10:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Classroom Snake Options

Hi, welcome here.

1. No it is not a bad idea. I recommend just outlining the seriousness of this responsibility.

2. All are good. Rosy boas are the shyest snakes and spotteds are good once they get beyond being a baby and nippy. Balls come in cool colours, get a bit bigger and likely easier to find.

3. Most likely is the rosy boa. They tend to either be real gentle or kind of dicks. Spotted is next. Balls the least likely.

I would also consider a cornsnake. I would be looking to adopt an adult snake so you only need one enclosure and know the general temperament already.
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Old 05-02-22, 11:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Classroom Snake Options

Thanks for the suggestions. I’m leaning toward a ball python but am hesitant because, if the snake does bite a student, it’s the largest out of the school-appropriate options and may cause more damage. The last thing I need is an angry parent at a school board meeting asking why his or her child is coming home from school with snake bites.
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Old 05-02-22, 02:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Classroom Snake Options

My advice would be to make sure that the enclosure is locked and secured, so kids cannot remove the snake, damage the enclosure, pour liquids into it, etc. When I was 13, my biology teacher had several animals in the classroom, including a bull snake. My feral classmates would torture them whenever they got the chance.
I agree that a corn snake is a great consideration. Of those that you have listed, I would vote for the spotted python.
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Old 05-02-22, 03:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Classroom Snake Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herpin' Man View Post
My advice would be to make sure that the enclosure is locked and secured, so kids cannot remove the snake, damage the enclosure, pour liquids into it, etc. When I was 13, my biology teacher had several animals in the classroom, including a bull snake. My feral classmates would torture them whenever they got the chance.
I agree that a corn snake is a great consideration. Of those that you have listed, I would vote for the spotted python.
Fair point. I recommend the spotted python then. Again though, get an adult snake instead of a baby. You'll know better on how likely it is to bite. Balls are very reluctant to bite.

Also all three species will leave bite marks and draw pin drops of blood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M.S.Teacher View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. I’m leaning toward a ball python but am hesitant because, if the snake does bite a student, it’s the largest out of the school-appropriate options and may cause more damage. The last thing I need is an angry parent at a school board meeting asking why his or her child is coming home from school with snake bites.
Excellent advice. Ensure this above all so the likelihood of biting is reduced.
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