Kids at East New York Public School are Learning in Classrooms Crawling with Bed Bugs
Thursday, April 26, 2012

Classrooms at an East New York public school crawling with bedbugs are still being used by children and teachers, the Daily News has learned.

Fifth and sixth graders at PS 224 on Wortman Ave. have been using the three classrooms since the bugs were spotted in February.

"It's bad. The whole building has it but they aren't doing anything about it," said East New York mom Malika Bryant.

Some parents were sent letters on Friday and Monday explaining that just one bedbug was found in each of two different rooms on April 14.

But sources at the school claim the problem is much worse, and that more than a dozen live bedbugs were found in one of three rooms.

Bryant wasn't letting her daughter Teyonna Harrison, 12, go to school until the bugs were gone.

"This is sad," said Bryant. "They said they had it under control and that was last year."

The first reports of bedbugs at PS 224 surfaced last year.

Dept. of Education officials said there were no signs of infestation because only one bug was confirmed, making an evacuation of the rooms not necessary.

"Every time we find a single bedbug, we are required to report it," said Dept. of Education spokeswoman Margaret Feinberg.

"Schools are not hospitable environments for bedbugs and are brought in from the outside, usually in a bag or on clothing."

But school sources said they've seen multiple creepy crawlers first hand.

"I saw a bunch of them bouncing around as if it was a flea party," said a PS 224 source.

Parents at the school were so afraid of bringing the bedbugs home, they kept their kids out of school.

"My children are not coming back to this school until I know it's cleared out," said mom Shavonna Bradley, 33.

Cheyenne Aiken, 35 was about to drop off her daughter, Toi White, 8, at school Wednesday before she heard about the recent rash of bedbugs.

Aiken then ordered her daughter back in the car.

"I'm very worried. I have other children in my home and if you get bedbugs you have to throw everything away," she said.