officials are dealing with "isolated incidents" of bedbugs at .
"They've had four isolated incidents," said school spokesman Kim Eves. "They found a dead one at the end of October, give or take (a few days), one last week, one the week before and one a week before that." She added, "It's not necessarily a health hazard ... but we're trying not to spread them. It's not a concern in terms of disease."
According to EverydayHealth.com, "Bedbugs are not thought to transmit diseases," however, they can bite and cause skin irritations.
The existence of the bugs was discovered "in the carpet on the floor. A class was sitting on the floor for a discussion ... they bagged it and brought it to the health department," Eves said.
As of last night, the school district administration had not decided whether it will proceed with a plan to steam-clean the school during the winter break that begins Friday afternoon, according to Eves. In the interim, when a bug has been found and sent to the for testing, the affected classrooms were treated after an inspection from Parkway Pest Services which uses trained dogs to sniff out the bugs, according to Eves.
The inspections and treatments were conducted after students left the school, Eves said.
School officials held an informational meeting with parents on Dec. 15 and have them sent notification via the ParentLink information system. "The parent forum on Thursday was to tell parents how to deal with the situation at home," Eves said. She said about 30 to 35 parents attended the session
"It's one or two families involved," Eves added. Two, possibly three classes are involved, she said.
One of the incidents involved finding a bed bug on a student backpack. Eves said that since the first incident in October, school personnel check each student daily before they're admitted to classes. The students in the affected classes must place their belongings — coats, hats, gloves — in plastic garbage bags. The rest of the students in the school at 360-plus student school on Hamilton Avenue, must keep their belongings in their backpacks. It was unclear whether the mandate also applied to school personnel and teachers.
When approached outside the school Monday dismissal, school personnel said, "We can't talk."
Well, talk is what a few parents said they hope school officials would do. "They need to be more informative. It's on the school website," said one mother, who would not give her name, as she waited for second-grade daughter. "There are so many rumors ... it's the same family bringing in something. It's coming from home. They have to help those people whose house it's coming from," the woman said.
Another mother, with two children in pre-K and first-grade, said, "Hopefully it will be controlled soon. ... We are concerned about what they're using." Her daughter's pre-K class was one of the groups affected, she said. "Obviously you want it to be treated but we are concerned about the children. We are worried about what they use to treat it," she added.
As Mark Mantione waited for his two sons, he said, he received the pre-recorded informational calls from the school administration. "We looked but we didn't find any" bed bugs.
Eves said, "the only thing parents can do is check their kids before they leave home in the morning and check them when they come home." Eradicating bedbugs from the home include thorough cleaning, vacuuming of bedrooms, furniture and linens which should be treated at temperatures of at least 112 degrees, according to EverydayHealth.com.