DC School to Close Due to Bedbugs, Pests

WASHINGTON — Due to bedbugs and other pests, Savoy Elementary School will be closed Monday and Tuesday for a “thorough cleaning,” D.C. public schools officials said Friday.

In a letter sent to parents, Chancellor Antwan Wilson said all “soft materials” in the building, including rugs, cots, blankets and pillows, would be replaced. The school would then be inspected by the health department.

The letter stated that school officials planned to tell parents by 3 p.m. Sunday where school will be held during the cleaning. The Department of General Services started cleaning the school Friday evening.

The closure comes amidst parents’ complaints that rats, mice and bedbugs have been a problem since November. The school is located at 2400 Shannon Place Southeast.

Some of the rodent concerns were addressed on the school’s Facebook page on Jan. 16. The post stated that a “mass trapping” for rodents had been conducted over the winter holiday and that a pest control company “has performed an extensive assessment of the school.”

The posting disputed that there was a bedbug infestation, though Friday’s letter referenced “the recent threat of pests and bed bugs” as the reason for the closure.

There wasn’t a clear time frame given for how long the cleaning would take. Michelle Lerner, a spokeswoman for the school system, said in an email that officials planned to provide updates to parents on Sunday regarding “where students should plan to attend school for the next several weeks.”

“We will also communicate where Savoy students can access meal service (breakfast, lunch, and supper) on Monday and Tuesday,” Lerner said.

Parents were advised to direct health related questions to their doctors.

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