RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Parents of one Richmond elementary school say their children have been forced to learn with bed bugs for more than a month.
Now RPS is responding to the claims.
Parents of Overby-Sheppard Elementary School reached out to 8News, sharing that a bed bug problem first reported in early December was still a lingering issue.
“They’re not taking this situation as seriously as they need to be,” said one parent, who did not want to be identified.
Complacency, parents feel, is making the situation worse.
“We have children who can’t sit in their classrooms comfortably,” the parent said. “Parents don’t want to send their kids with coats, they can’t even take book bags in at this point. So, it’s just frustrating cause I feel like nothing is being done about this situation at all.”
Parents and guardians learned of the bed bug issue inside the northside school on Dec. 10. As the end of January nears, they tell 8News the unsafe situation remains.
“There are hundreds of kids that go to this school and every day they’re taking bed bugs to their homes. It’s never going to stop until they get it 100 percent resolved at the school.”
In response to the allegations, the school handed out flyers to parents letting them know how to handle bed bugs, but parents would rather see the issue dealt with internally.
“The parents are questioning if they should even send their kids to school at this point but we’re being told that if you do not send your kids to school because of the situation then it’s going to be an unexcused absence,” the parent told 8News. “So we have no options, none at all.”
“Do you think that’s fair?” 8News asked.
“Not at all,” the parent replied. “The children need to be put in different locations until they get this problem 100 percent resolved.”
The parent 8News spoke with said when she contacts the elementary school about her concerns, their response is ‘contact city hall.’
However, the parent says “the city at this point is focused on other things as opposed to being focused on our schools.”
8News reached out to Richmond Public Schools officials, who said at this time there are no confirmed cases of bed bugs at the school. However, the elementary school has dealt with bed bugs in the past.
The most recent incident was reported on Jan. 23. RPS said they held a meeting to address parent’s concerns last week.
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