YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Outraged parents claim they weren’t notified of bedbugs in their children’s school until after the building was cleaned.
Exterminators fumigated the Charter School of Educational Excellence in Yonkers after teachers discovered bedbugs on a student Tuesday morning, officials said.
“We found that there were bedbugs in his desk, and then we found a bedbug on his clothing. We knew at that point in time that there were bedbugs in the school,” the school’s president, Eduardo Laguerre, told CBS 2’s Wejia Jiang.
But the school did not alert parents about the infestation until Wednesday afternoon when letters were sent home with students, Jiang reported.
Parents were still fuming over the troubling find on Thursday.
“It’s a big deal because it’s affecting our homes and it’s a health issue,” parent Mirna Matos said.
Matos said if she had been notified sooner, she would have picked her daughter up and possibly kept her home from school.
“You want them out of there, you don’t want them exposed more than they’ve already been exposed,” Matos said.
Her daughter, seventh-grader Marizah Colon, had to haul her belongings to school in a plastic bag to protect her things from bedbugs.
“It was kind of embarrassing walking to my grandma’s house with this,” Colon said. “Even this morning I asked my mom if I could stay home from school because I’m afraid if I would get bedbugs or not.”
Laguerre said the school remained opened because “we did not think it was infestation. This was isolated to just his desk in one area.”
Jiang reported Laguerre stopped short of saying he reacted too slowly, but said, “I apologize to the parents.”
School officials said they believe the building is bedbug-free and they’re educating families on what to do if they find any at home.
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