By ARTHUR CLEVELAND
FONDA-Fonda-Fultonville Central School has notified parents the district is facing an infestation of cockroaches.
Cockroaches were found at Fonda-Fultonville Central School, the district said in a letter sent home to parents Friday. The Leader-Herald/Rodney Minor
"Through inspecting of our buildings recently we have diagnosed a pest issue. Due to the basic nature of school districts, this is an unusual occurrence but does happen from time to time," Superintendent Ray Coluciello said in a letter to parents.
The letter, which was sent home with students Friday, identified the pest as cockroaches, which were found in several locations throughout the school.
Coluciello could not be reached for comment. The letter said the infestation was discovered "throughout the course of our building inspections," but did not specify locations or say when the roaches were discovered.
A pest-management company evaluated the building "and a first step was taken," the letter said. The company used two "green products, EcoPCP ARX and 565 Plus XLO," the letter said. Additional treatments were used in the elementary and middle school, and the areas were to be cleaned before classes resumed today, the letter said.
"At this time we believe that only one treatment will be necessary. Be assured that we are being aggressive with our approach, but the safety of staff and students is our first priority," the letter said.
Cockroaches can trigger allergies that contribute to asthma and carry bacteria that cause disease, but their ability to transmit diseases to humans is under study, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Monitoring stations have been established in portions of the school, the letter said.
Parent Jd Downing said today parents were notified by an automated phone about an "insect issue" earlier last week before receiving the letter.
"I don't think [school officials] understand the gravity of the situation," Downing said.
"This is yet again another instance of poor judgment on behalf of the school district and its leadership," he said in a letter to The Leader-Herald.
"Why was the school opened this week knowing full well this was a problem?" he added.