LCPS adopts bed bug policy

Published 11:41 am Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lunenburg County Public Schools has adopted a policy about how to handle an infestation of bed bugs. The school board adopted the policy at its Monday, April 11, meeting. There was no public comment on the proposal.

Superintendent Charles M. Berkley Jr. said last month when the proposal first came up that “99.9 percent” of it “is just protective,” but noted the system did have “a slight case” after Christmas.

Protocol outlined in the policy calls for student suspected of having bed bugs or bed bug bites to be temporarily removed from the classroom so that the school nurse or a qualified individual can inspect his clothing and other belongings.

Without drawing significant attention to the student, school officials will also check the areas where he or she sits and where their possibly affected belongings such as hat, shoes, jacket and backpack may be placed for extended periods of time, the protocols said.

Since the bugs are not known to transmit disease, students will not be excluded from school because of them, the system has previously said.

“If a student is believed or confirmed to have brought a positively identified bed bug to school or if bed bug bites are suspected, the student’s parents or guardian will be notified and given … suggestions,” said the protocol.

Those suggestions include: telling them that a professional pest management company should be consulted immediately, send only essential items to school with the student, seal all school items in a plastic bag or plastic storage box to limit the likelihood or re-infestment and seal all clean clothes in a plastic storage box until the student puts them on in the morning.

“Until confirmed treatment, by a professional pest control company, is received, the student’s parents will transport student to school for assessment of student and belongs,” the protocol said. “If student and belongings are found to be bed bug free — the student will be permitted to ride the bus home from school.”

Other parents will be notified only if a classroom infestation is identified, the policy notes.

“A decision will be made if just a particular class needs to be notified or if the entire school/district needs to be notified based on where the bed bug was found and the extend of the infestation,” it adds.

Meanwhile, the system will also take action as soon as a bed bug has been identified.

“We will notify our licensed pest control specialist to inspect and treat,” said the treatment section of a school system fact sheet. “They will provide the school system with the appropriate pest control management plan.”