A few parents first came to 13 News regarding a rodent problem at Point Harmony Elementary School. The problem has been going on for the last few days but those frustrated parents said the school never contacted them to inform them until later this afternoon.
The school called parents with a recorded message from the principal: “good evening Point Harmony families, this is Mrs. Cochran, your principal. I wanted to let you know that the health department, Kanawha County Schools Board of Education and our pest control company, Orkin, are aware of the mice in our schools…”
Board leaders told 13 News that the district is not required to contact parents unless more aggressive measures are needed, which they said is not the case at Point Harmony.
The Kanawha County Health Department sent investigators twice to the school, the second time being this evening, and according to the department and the board of education, the school is following proper protocol in dealing with the issue.
Guidelines by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture state that there are only two ways to deal with mice in a school environment, non-chemical control measures like glue traps and poisonous bait, for which PHES is using both.
However, the problemis leaving parents feeling uneasy about sending their children to school.
KCHD Public Information Officer, John Law said, “if you feel that it is safe to send your kids to school, yes, then send them. If you don’t, get with your school personnel, talk to them about it, but make an educated decision.”
He said these types of issues are usually resolved quickly, but he understands the reason parents are concerned.
“Make sure that it there is any thought that a child may have had contact with a mouse, touched a mouse, even been bitten by a mouse, let your school officials know,” said Law.
Beyond that he told us there are steps teachers and staff can take to ensure the children are safe while in school. To encourage washing hands and keeping personal items off the floor.
In her recorded message, the principal told parents she would keep them updated. As for now, the Board of Education said the conditions are safe for students, as the safety of children is its first priority.