Bedbug Found in Local School

NBC40.com
Friday, May 9, 2014

A bedbug was found inside a classroom in a local elementary school, and now, parents say they're on-edge.

Michael Shafman's daughter Anjelica is a first grade student at the William H. Ross Elementary School in Margate. Shafman says on Wednesday, a letter from the principal came home with his daughter…a letter about the bedbug.

Shafman asked, "Who knows where it got tracked in from? Who knows where it could spread to? It's just a concerning issue. You would find it to be concerning and weird because you never had anything like that happen. She's been going here for two years and from what I heard in the past, it's never been an issue."

Administrators say at the end of April, some egg-shells and the bedbug were discovered by staff.

Superintendent of the Margate City Public Schools, Dr. Theresa DeFranco, told NBC40, "What went through my mind was, 'Be proactive. Get right on top of this. Let's discuss this as a team and bring the proper players in.’"

Since the discovery, school officials say a pest management control operator has been brought to the school twice, and has not found any more bedbugs.

Curtis Woodrow, Director of Facilities for the Margate City School District, explained, "They came back today. We had a whole team of four to really get a detailed inspection of the areas. They found no evidence of active anything." Principal of William H. Ross, John Dinicola, added, "We want to reiterate that it was one bug, in one place."

Parents say they worry about where the bedbug came from. Karen Cavacini has 5-year-old twins in the school and said, "I'm going to be honest with you - the school is clean, it's always very, very clean. I do believe it was brought in by something, or somehow it was brought into the school. I don't believe the school has bedbugs...not at all."

A bedbug detecting dog will also be brought into the school within the coming days to further inspect. Woodrow explained, "We are going to bring in the K-9 on the 17th to verify with a much deeper inspection, to make sure that everything is good."

On Wednesday May 14th, school administrators say they are going to have an open meeting with parents, and a broad Q&A, to address any other concerns anyone may have about the bedbug issue.

Officials say that if they do discover more bedbugs with the K-9, they will be exterminated with a heating process, and that no chemicals will be used in the school.