CAMBRIDGE, Md.- Last week, students from Sandy Hill Elementary School in Cambridge brought home a note. It warned parents to check their kid's jackets and bags for bedbugs.
The Dorchester County Board of Education says that one or two students came to school last week, and bedbugs were found on them. They were sent home that day. A letter was sent home with other students as a precaution, warning their parents to check bags and clothing. But some parents say they feel like the steps the school has taken to solve the problem have not been enough.
It's been a busy week at Sandy Hill Elementary School. For four days, the school was steam-cleaned. Carpets heat treated to almost 200 degrees, all in an effort to ensure there are no bed bugs in the building. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henry Wagner says Orkin Pest Control oversaw the cleaning process.
"We verified that bedbugs are a pest, but they do not constitute a direct health threat, that is the feedback we got from the health department. Nevertheless, we had the children who were identified as having the bed bugs sent home with protocols for their parents to follow," said Wagner.
But some parents aren't convinced the problem is solved.
Why would you bring Orkin in if you have no bedbugs? And why wouldn't the classroom or two that have been affected be closed off?" asked Bill Turner.
"My child has allergies, so that's a big thing with me," said Brian Keene. "What about all the kids who have allergies against hard shell bugs? I feel uncomfortable sending my child to school until I have 100 percent certainty the school has been treated."
The Dorchester County Health Department agrees with the school board, saying the problem has been treated.
"We do not have an infestation," said Carolyn Hallowell, a school health advisor with the health department. "I do know that they have treated the problem. They did come in and recheck, and they didn't find anything, and that was just this week."
Parents say if there is not a problem, why not send out a copy of some form saying that no bed bugs were found to parents. The school board and health department say everything that can be done has been done to contain these pests.
Bill turner has created a Facebook page for Sandy Hill Bed Bug Reports, if parents sight anymore. He says one of the teachers in the school spotted bedbugs on Monday. The school says after a thorough search, the pest control experts could not find one bedbug.