Bedbugs found in a NYC school

Sept. 1, 2011 at 3:07 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- A Queens elementary school was found to have the worst bedbug problem across New York City's five boroughs, officials say.

The Education Department received 3,590 reports of bedbugs at schools in the 2010-11 school year, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

Each time, officials said the bugs were brought into the schools from outside.

However, Education Department inspectors found an infestation of bedbugs and evidence that they were reproducing in Astoria's Public School 70 in December.

Investigators never told school officials of the infestation. Education Department protocols do not require investigators to notify school officials.

"There was evidence of breeding last winter in one closet in one classroom in a school system of 1,600 schools. The bedbugs were removed," department spokeswoman Margie Feinberg said.

"I never heard anything about this," said PS 70 Principal Donna Geller. "I was never told that inspectors visited our school."

Regulations of pest control were changed in February. Now, the education officials must notify school principals and parents if an infestation is found.

Parents of PS 70 students are furious that they were not notified of the infestation.

"I'm disappointed in the school -- parents have a right to know these things," said Amy Palacio, 26, of Astoria, whose 6-year-old attends PS 70.

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