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Meet Briggsy: The New Bruin at Briggs High School

Briggsy the Bunny

January 4, 2022 –- In the “calming” room near the main office at Briggs High school is where you will find the newest “Bruin,” a very mellow but friendly five-pound white bunny rabbit affectionately named Briggsy. The good-natured, gentle bunny arrived at Briggs in October as kind of a joke. 

“During a staff meeting, we were all talking about the stress of the school year when someone on the Zoom call said it’s too bad we can’t get a therapy dog,” said Principal Dr. Tonya Milligan. “That was followed up with what about a bunny rabbit?” 

A staff member at Briggs knew someone who was fostering a bunch of rabbits looking for good homes. 

“Of course, I checked the Board of Education policy about animals and soon discovered if we had a record from a veterinarian, the rabbit was permitted on school grounds,” said Milligan. 

The principal and her team decided to give Briggsy a one-week trial period. It only took hours though for Briggsy to prove she was a positive addition to the family and worthy of Bruin status. 

“Letting students hold Briggsy, pet or feed her had an amazing calming effect on students who were sent to the office because they were stressed or agitated,” said Dr. Milligan. “I had one student who was crying so hard she was almost inconsolable. I put Briggsy in her arms, and within minutes, the student calmed down and told me everything that was bothering her.” 

Now the only disagreements in the “calming” room are about who is going to take Briggsy home for the weekend. Both students and staff have made requests, and that’s not all. The “calming” room is full of toys and bedding for Briggsy. All of it was donated along with the dresses someone bought for Briggsy to wear on special occasions such as honor roll celebrations and awards ceremonies at Briggs. 

Briggsy doesn’t stay in a cage. Dr. Milligan said that there is no need because the rabbit is not a fan of linoleum flooring. It’s too slippery. 

Before Briggs High School, this rabbit was one of 15 bunnies being hoarded in a home. Briggsy and the other rabbits were then released into a Columbus neighborhood to fend for themselves. 

“House rabbits don’t do well in the wild,” said Dr. Milligan. “Briggsy was in pretty bad shape when she was picked up.” 

For now, it’s hard to say who got the better deal. Briggsy and her large family of caregivers, or the Briggs High School family, who now have a loving emotional support animal capable of providing lots of comfort and companionship.