NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A plague of rats has been causing trouble for two local schools, and students have been forced to deal with it for months.

As CBS2’s Reena Roy reported Monday, the sickening sight has been constant since April. Rodents have been spotted crawling on walls and railings outside an elementary school on Roosevelt Island.

The colony seems to be spreading. Just minutes later, they rat after rat was spotted scurrying through the schoolyard at P.S./I.S. 217 Roosevelt Island.

“I felt like scared that they’ll like run after me or something,” said student Luca Staracci.

“I kind of feel like I’m in the rats’ home,” another student added.

The unwanted guests are swarming – crawling up the stairs behind the school cafeteria, going under an entrance gate on Main Street, and even making their way into the play area.

“Some people are terrified, and we just don’t go there back there no more,” said student Neriah Umeh-Atueyi.

Erka Costa said she kept her child home Monday because of the rats.

“I feel concerned, and I don’t think I should be subjected to having to worry the whole entire day long,” Costa said.

And it does not stop at P.S. 217. The director of the neighboring preschool said they have seen the rats make their way over, and poisonous rat bait has been set up outside the school door.

“We worry about the children and the families that are exposed, and it’s really hard to get the images out of your mind,” said Pamela Stark, executive director of Roosevelt Island Day Nursery.

Some residents said the root of the problem is trash left outside daily after school lunch.

“I’ve seen their trash out here week in and week out, and no protective containers; just clear plastic bags,” said resident Judith Berdy.

But Department of Education officials said it is an island-wide issue that did not originate on school property. Residents believe otherwise.

“DOE is not doing its job,” said Frank Farance.

A DOE representative said an inspection showed there are no rodents inside the school, and said the department is taking steps along with other city agencies to fix the issue. CBS2 did spot a DOE exterminator on site with a bucket of bait.

“I completely trust the school to deal with it,” said parent Arva Brazil. “I think it’s been hyped up a little bit.”

But others say it is only a matter of time before the pesky pests crawl into the classrooms.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is offering a rodent educational class to residents later this month.

Comments (45)
  1. How about getting some feral cats to feast on the rats???

  2. Their not rears their democrats.

  3. The mayor is too busy pontificating to keep school children safe. Same in Chicago.

  4. That schools maintenance department should be fired. If they are not actively trying to get rid of the rats they should be contracting it out.

  5. DAT U BEN………………..

  6. Derek Langer says:

    But…but…but the rats make the kids feel at home!

  7. At first I thought they were referring to illegal aliens. They’re as bad as rats in the Democratic ruled cities.

  8. Kevyn Sears says:

    Could be The Public Theater group in disguise rehearsing for Shakespeare in the Park.

  9. Mike Herman says:

    Instead of trying to keep rats from entering the island, NY Mayor Bloomberg encourages a welcoming environment and a more sincere effort to coexist. “Accept them as neighbors and they won’t bother you.” the mayor told students and teachers.

    1. Blend them into the free school lunch program.

  10. Mike Herman says:

    Those aren’t rats. They are liberal teachers.

  11. tngilmer says:

    New York, New York. If cannot get mugged or rat bit there, you cannot get mugged or rat bit anywhere. (Sorry Frank). LOL

  12. How are they going to dispose of the Librats?

  13. “The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is offering a rodent educational class to residents later this month.”
    So that’s the city’s solution? Teach citizens about the filthy things instead of eliminating them?

  14. Another DemocRAT controlled hellhole.

  15. Ra Williams says:

    “I felt like scared that they’ll like run after me or something,”

    Welcome to New York City kid!

  16. Clegg Jensen says:

    It’s what happens when your city’s government becomes infested with Demorats.

  17. If I were the rats I would be the ones worried, worried about STDs, antibiotic resistant tuberculosis, hepatitis. Leprosy, crabs, bedbugs just gross…….

  18. Welcome to Liberal Democrat utopia.

    Those aren’t rats. They’re Democrat operatives and supporters.

  19. Lynn Wood says:

    Where is the editor? Why is the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene offering an education class to rodents who are residents of the island? OR did the article mean to state, “the DH&MH is offering an educational class about rodents to the residents of the Island later this month.” But hey, the rats may be better students.

  20. Lynn Wood says:

    Come on now, don’t you think the rats are not scared of the strange kids too? In today’s world this is probably some weird study run by some alphabet agency to find a natural “Willard” amongst the student population.

  21. elect a rat, get rats. plain and simple

  22. billrow says:

    They must mean democRATS

  23. Jas Aub says:

    Interestingly, the Rats had faces that looked remarkably like De Blasio.

  24. Jim Moore says:

    Democrats in action! More illegals will help.

  25. Rats have to be fed! This is the schools refusing to handle trash well and not teaching kids to be sanitary with trash

  26. Juan Cerpico says:

    I thought jews had their own schools?

  27. A sad thing watching New York descend into being a 3rd world city like Detroit

  28. ….and those were just the faculty.

  29. Why do these type of stories come out of Dem run cities? Check it out – from Flint to NYC most Dem cities are broke and poorly run.

  30. Jack Pod says:

    Can’t kill the rats. PETA loves these disease carrying varmints and Big Gooberment knuckles under to pressure from this organization. I heard that de blasio loves them also.

  31. I guess $200,000 isn’t enough to pay the janitors to control the rats in their schools.. Maybe they need to make $300,000 instead.

  32. Those rats are the teachers and administrators…

  33. Mike Arvand says:

    the rats are overrunning the coastal areas on both sides. They’re called democrats. This is what happens when you let them into your area.

  34. So get some TNR cats and turn them loose. Rats will vanish fast.

  35. Those are DemocRATS terrorizing children.. that’s what they do

  36. Doug Day says:

    Do they speak 43 different languages?

    1. David Chance says:

      the democRATS are just trying to ASS-imilate…hehe !!!

  37. Keep voting for the democrat/di blasio,As ye sow so shall ye reap.

  38. So what does it take the taxpayer paying the teachers unions to (re-)educate these kids? 15? 18 thousand per student per year? Yeah, I can see how exterminators charge too much.

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