The Duck In The Room 

Let’s talk about the ducks…


Trinity Rothwell

SHS students make way for ducklings during the spring season

Trinity Rothwell , Contributing Writer

At Scituate High School, there are two courtyards, but only one is the annual spring home to families of new ducklings. When I expressed an interest in writing about the ducks, I was warned that teachers don’t generally speak on the matter. In fact, I hit a wall and had trouble finding information regarding the ducks and staff members’ opinions on their annual nesting habits. Throughout my attempts to interview staff members, no one was willing to share their thoughts–other than saying it was “an unspoken rule” not to share their opinions. No staff members wanted to offend anyone with their personal perspectives.

As this hunt went on, I widened my gaze and requested an interview with Superintendent William Burkhead. 

Superintendent Burkhead stated he was “honored the ducks chose Scituate High School.” During his career in education, he has never “experienced something quite like this” and said there was no harm in the ducks being at SHS. He also assured me there is no policy regarding staff speaking to the press about the ducks. 

In the past, Superintendent Burkhead has not heard about issues with the ducks–or opinions from the high school’s staff, stating it was “not a common conversation.”  Addressing past rumors about duck deaths, he noted that in the future extra precautions would be used when tending to the school grounds (such as mowing the grass) and that he wants to ensure the safety of the ducks.

However, Burkhead emphasized the safety of students comes first. Several baby ducklings died this spring when school buses accidentally drove over them. Superintendent Burkhead explained, “Many animals may cross through the bus loop, and we avoid animals if we can do so, but we also factor in the safety of the vehicles and the children and students.”

Regarding the duckling families living in the courtyard, he remarked that environmentalists have looked into the small habitat and deem it safe if students do not get too close. Superintendent Burkhead added that observing the habitat might offer a good learning opportunity in classes such as ornithology. He wants to celebrate the ducks’ presence and “enjoy them and the nature that surrounds them.”