The Red Lady

Spiders found on campus grounds

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The Red Lady

Bryana Smith-Hines

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Found by math teacher Justin Havens, several black widows were found around campus. A black widow’s bite is considered more poisonous than a rattlesnake’s bite.

The mother didn’t know her time was running out; hanging by a thread, she tried to escape, but was smacked dead. This wasn’t the only black widow killed in Physics teacher Marlana Hohnholt’s classroom.

“I also killed two of them behind the file cabinet,” Hohnholt said. There’s been sightings of the black widows and their egg sacs in classroom walls, sports locker rooms, on stairwells, and in many other places.

“It’s just that time of the year when it’s raining so much, and they’re starting to breed,” Hohnholt said.

Black widows live in dark, cold areas, and are known for the bright red hourglass markings on their stomachs.

Lots of people have been “creeped out” by seeing these black widows.

“For a second, I thought it was my hair, but then I looked over, saw the spider, and then it went ghost,” Senior Sabrina Burke said.

Teachers were told by email to stay on the lookout.

“My teacher told us not to put our bags on the floor, and that’s when I knew there was a problem,” Sabrina said.

One of Sabrina’s friends, Lydia Mendoza, a senior, had told her mom of the issue, and her mom called the health department.

“They just said they would send someone to check it out at the cafeteria, but they can’t check any other areas without EPISD allowing it,” Lydia said.

Black widows have a venom 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s, and their egg sacs contain 2-500 babies.

“I had a full egg sac that was pulsating, and that’s scary, because they disperse really fast, so I was more worried about the students than me,” Hohnholt said.

Algebra I teacher Justin Havens, has seen many black widows and wants to warn students of the danger.

“When it’s hot, you find someplace cool and dark, and that’s where the spiders are,” Havens said.

A black widow bite can cause fainting, dizziness, tremors, and cardiac problems.

“I just want people to know that they’re around, and to be careful,” Havens said.


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