Buffalo teachers file grievance over bed bugs at School 37

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Parents and teachers are fed up with bed bugs at Buffalo Public School 37.

Parents received a letter from the district last week that stated an individual in the building had possible bug bites.

The Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF) says school officials aren’t doing enough to handle the problem.

A Buffalo parent, Michelle Eggleston, says her 7 year-old son goes to School 37. Eggleston says she pulled him out of school last Friday because the issue wasn’t resolved.

“I’m not sending my son to school and I bring home these bugs, because they’re not going to pay for my house to be fumigated, and I can’t afford it. Thursday, I went in, and there’s stuff everywhere. People are throwing out their classroom stuff, you know people are just- their hair’s all tied up, they say they put rubbing alcohol on the kids, there’s kids still missing from school, it’s not taken care of,” said Eggleston.

The teachers union says the issue should have been dealt with quickly and decisively. The BTF filed a grievance against the district for exposing teachers to unsafe and unhealthy working conditions.

“What we’re looking for is a governmental agency that will go in there and tell them, look, you got to do better, you have to have a policy and you have to make sure that this does not happen,” said Phil Rumore, President of BTF.

The teachers union also said during a meeting with a parent, a bed bug crawled onto a teacher’s hand, latching on to the teacher’s finger. The union said after that, the teacher didn’t feel safe going to work and was afraid of bringing the bed bugs home.

Eggleston tells us because the issue isn’t resolved, she’s not sending her child back to School 37.

“He’s already been pulled out for next year. Like I am not returning him to that school next year. I just feel bad, I didn’t want it to have to come to this. you know I love the staff at that school, but it really needed to be handled better, and the ball was dropped big time on this,” said Eggleston.

Buffalo Public Schools issued this statement:

“In our ongoing effort to address occasional sightings the District has contracted with an experienced and qualified pest management company. They have responded to the situation and continue to inspect and monitor the school.  As we review what we have done so far and obtain more information, we will adjust our plan accordingly.

“We have sent letters and provided information to the staff and parents of School #37, including the basics of identification of the bed bugs in the home and what can be done to help prevent the spread.”

Yvette Gordon, Director of Safety and Health

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