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Parents worried after bed bugs found on students at a Waukesha County elementary school

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WAUKESHA COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58)-- Parents of a Waukesha County elementary school are worried their kids could carry bed bugs home with them. This after the school told them bed bugs were found on a student's coat and backpack.

Some parents say they are irate after finding out there is still a bed bug problem at Magee Elementary School, parents say they were first notified in October.

Principal Sue Sterner says there is not a bed bug infestation at the school, but they are allowing students who have bed bugs at their homes to still come to class.

“Bed bugs are not something that you can exclude children from school for,” said Sterner.

Two of Rachel Wiseman’s kids go to school at Magee and ride on the bus with some of the students who have bed bugs. She’s concerned at the risk of bed bugs spreading to other students.

”I feel terrible for the family. I know this isn’t because of the way they live or anything,” said Wiseman. “You can pick them up anywhere and anybody can be affected no matter what your status, where you live or anything like that, but it’s sad to know the school is putting all these families at risk.”

Sterner says the school is being proactive in keeping school grounds bed bug free.

”When kids are at home and there are bed bugs in their home, there is a chance they could come to school with bed bugs,” said Sterner.

Students with bed bugs at their homes are asked to change clothes when they get to school. Their belongings are then heat treated at school and given back to them at the end of the day.

Student gear is also being kept in plastic bins to prevent bed bugs from spreading.

”We work with our regular pest control company on a regular basis, and we’ve had a bed bug sniffing dog come in and its handler and our school has been cleared several times,” said Sterner.   

While Wiseman appreciates the effort, she is still taking extra precaution by keeping her kids home from school and turning in their homework every day until the problem is fixed.

”I work in hospital intensive care units and emergency rooms all around our state and I feel it would be unethical of me to take the chance to get bed bugs in my home and risk my house and everyone in the state of Wisconsin who visits our hospitals,” said Wiseman.

Sterner said bed bugs could take weeks to months to clear from a home depending on treatment.

“We’re asking for grace and understanding as these families take care of what’s happening in their home.”

Wiseman says she’s hoping to team up with other Magee Elementary parents to raise money for home high heat treatments for families affected by the bed bugs.  

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gilbertdirect 24 days ago
This is why an eco-friendly, product like Premo Guard Bed Bug Spray is perfect. It's safe to be used around kids. Even backpacks can be sprayed. Check it out, www.premoguard.com.

Oh and there is even a 3 ounce travel size that kids can carry to school with them!
MarkLukendekel 30 days ago
So does this mean it’s ok for students having the chicken pops still go to school because the results are very similar.
Also, treating kids with “special” care is not the answer but a disaster for that students social and mental well being as he would be then cast out from other students. Maybe the school administration would think more if their homes suddenly became infected with bedbugs.
Eric MarkLukendekel 30 days ago
Assume you are referring to Chicken Pox? Based on the fact that Chickenpox is a communicable disease, the two are not even related. The big question, and I do not have the answer is what power does the school admin even have in cases like this? I am not one, so will not answer. A good opportunity for our local media to educate us on what recommendations from the state must be followed. Based on the information provided, they are not allowed to keep these children out of school. My concern is this is now big news and ultimately should not be. The school, nor the administration have not failed the students as portrayed in this story. Here is a link to a good read for those looking for more info https://www.bedbugs.umn.edu/public-facilities/school-setting and based on what we have learned has been taking place at the school, these seem to have been followed pretty closely. Cheers!
Eric 31 days ago
Perhaps Ms. Wiseman should have consulted the state health and education departments to see what rules and regulations dictate what KM can do before pulling the media into this. Magee is doing the best they can, all while following state regulations. I personally would be more concerned with personal and business travel in and out of state.
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