Several parents used one common word to describe their feelings as they were picking up their children from Waterbury Career Academy on Wednesday.
“I am very frustrated,” said one parent, who did not want to be identified.
“Yes, it’s very frustrating,” said Julie Little, another parent.
What’s frustrating them is another cell phone video circulating on social media showing another bed bug inside the school. This time, the video shows a bed bug crawling on a student’s backpack. Other videos or pictures in previous weeks have shown bed bugs on students’ textbooks. It’s at least the third time in a month that a bed bug has been spotted inside the school.
“They need to handle it,” said Little. “Get it out the way and just to get rid of all these bed bugs.”
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The last time a bed bug was spotted was last week. At that time, the school district confirmed to News 8 that it was working closely with the Waterbury Department of Public Health and cleaning crews cleaned the effected areas of the school and went to the home of a student suspected of carrying the bed bug to school on him.
But now that the problem has resurfaced, it seems that frustration is building.
“These kids are taking chances that they’re going to get infected,” Little said. “Our kids at home are going to get infected.”
The parent who did not want to be identified told News 8 she pulled her child from school last week. When the first bed bug incident came to light about a month ago, several parents lined up to take their kids home. Some parents are also frustrated because they say they’ve found out about these bed bugs from their children — not the school.
On Wednesday, News 8 reached out to the Superintendent of Waterbury Public Schools. Dr. Verna Ruffin denied our request for an on camera interview and instead, referred us to a statement she gave during one of the previous bed bug cases.
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Here is some of that statement:
“Cleaning protocols are actively engaged in with regard to any potentially impacted areas within a school building including steaming and cleaning of surfaces with industry-standard methods….inspection and cleaning of all potentially-impacted areas has been undertaken as necessary….there is no risk to students, staff, or visitors.”
Today, Dr. Verna Ruffin also informed News8 that the Department of Public Health was giving out a brochure for each student to take home. It’s a “how-to” guide for property owners, managers and tenants on preventing and getting rid of bed bugs safely.
The parents we spoke with say they appreciate that additional information. But, they’re frustrated by what they say is an overall lack of communication with them. Little wonders why they don’t temporarily close school to send in the cleaning crews again.
“They should close it down — at least do something over the weekend if they don’t want to close it down,” she said. “But, they have to clean it out.”