Creepy Secrets Held Within School Walls

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photo by Lila Dell Leverett

LilaDell Leveritt, lifestyle editor

Over the years, classrooms have gotten cleaned out and remnants our school’s historic beginnings have been thrown away. But there’s one closet behind biology teacher Mellissa Donham’s room, 114, that hasn’t been touched. It holds dozens of jars of animal remains such as squid, puppies, snakes, and sea horses.

“Those jars were back there when I went to school,” former biology teacher Kirby Shofner said.

The jars are so old, there’s no promise that the lids still work. Donham is careful not to turn the jars over too far for fear they will spill, although there isn’t much to spill, as half of the liquid has evaporated over the years. Many of the specimen were originally used for dissections, and remain well preserved. Donham shrugs when asked what will eventually happen to the unused jars.

Next to the jars are a plethora of gloves, 1,762 to be exact, and around 300 issues of National Geographics from the 70s. Above those sit a hamster cage, which has held a multitude of class pets such as birds, ferrets, rats, hamsters, bunnies, lizards, and fish. Although the class pets were never used for dissection, there are bags of worms, starfish, and crayfish that are. Biology students have gotten up close and personal with these creatures.

Some of the newer items are Science Olympiad projects and the AP Research class’ materials. The club keeps their projects on top of a bookcase, where they room with five boxes of science fair materials.

Biology classrooms are more or less labs, and have eye wash stations. Donham’s room has the sinks, tables, and gas valves, but no eye wash station. Although the closet isn’t used for lab work, it does have an eye wash station and a triple wide sink filled with trays, bleach, and soap.

“It [the closet] has an eye wash station that you can’t get to because there’s so much stuff back here,” Donham said.

There are plenty of donations coming in from UAMS and Childrens Hospital, especially paper, plastic models, and jars of animals. Donham says she would like a monitor to donate their time during A2 to help organize the room.