Children escape from snake through window

An eastern brown snake like one that sent a panic through a Carbrook kindergarten.
An eastern brown snake like one that sent a panic through a Carbrook kindergarten. 

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Eighteen children had to escape their kindergarten through a window after a deadly eastern brown snake slithered into the classroom and chased them through three rooms south of Brisbane.

The children had just finished lunch at C&K Carbrook Community Kindergarten and were lying down for a nap two weeks ago when the assistant teacher Leanne Welke screamed "snake".

Centre director Robyn Fowler was at the whiteboard of the classroom and turned around to see the snake slithering between the children's beds, which were five to 10 centimetres off the ground.

"It was in a frenzy, there's no two ways to say it, the snake was in a frenzy," she said.

Ms Fowler and Ms Welke herded the children through Ms Fowler's office and into the back room, which is used as a library and storage space.

"Once I got all of the children in there I stayed in the room and Leanne stayed out there, she had her eye on the snake," Ms Fowler said.

"By this time the snake had made its way to the front of the room where all of the children keep their bags but then it made a beeline towards the back office so she yelled at me to block the door because we were in the second room.

"So I raced into the office and luckily had some things to stuff at the bottom of the door."


After three attempts the snake managed to slither into the office and was then just one wall away from the small storage room in which the children were huddled.

Thinking quickly, Ms Welke raced around the side of the building and banged on the window for Ms Fowler to open it and they started passing the children through the window and out of the building.

"The snake was coming for us, where I had all the children so we lifted 18 children out of the window," Ms Fowler said.

"I was actually half way out of the window when the snake came into the room where the children had just been and started to come up the wall.

"She pulled me, helped me get out of the window and we shut the window."

Throughout the ordeal, Ms Fowler said the children had remained calm and knew what they were doing because they regularly did drills of the "snake action plan" and they knew where they had to go.

However, they had never practiced going out through the window.

The teaching pair then herded the children to the sandpit but when it started getting too hot they took them through the yard of the adjacent child care to the shade in front of the building.

They sat outside reading them stories and drinking water.

"We're dealing with an unpredictable snake so the children performed beautifully and did everything we asked them to do," Ms Fowler said.

"Once we were in the sandpit I could see there were a couple of little girls that were a little bit upset but we've talked about it since then and we gave them a smartie award because they listened and did everything we asked them to do."

A snake catcher was called to the school and caught the snake, which he estimated to be about a year old and told Ms Fowler the snake usually chases people and would have been coming after the group on purpose.

However, the snake catcher contacted Fairfax Media to say he had stressed to Ms Fowler it was extremely rare for snakes to purposely chase people.

After a few nervous days back at the kindergarten, Ms Fowler said it had returned to normal.

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