Parents get few answers as DC school addresses bed bug issue

An emergency meeting about a reported bed bug, rodent infestation at a southeast elementary school provided few answers for outraged parents Thursday night.

Parents say health and school administrators were on site at Savoy Elementary School but they gave no solutions on how to stop the pest problem at the school.

The Department of Health was also at the school Thursday evening to tell parents about kits they can pick up to determine if they have bed bugs.

DC Public Schools and Department of General Services were there to share what's been done to ease the issue. Parents say what was missing was a clear solution on how to address the problem moving forward.
"If this would have happened on Wisconsin Avenue, the school would be closed," said Aaron Doughty, a father to students at the school.

Doughty shared photos of what he says are bed bug bites on his two daughters who attend Savoy, and he was hoping the meeting at the school Thursday night would help provide some answers.

"No solutions out of this meeting and my daughters have not been in school, I have a note for them and they're scheduled to return back to school on Monday but I want solutions before they come back because you've seen the pictures," Doughty said.

Doughty was one of many who say the school has been infested with bedbugs since November and complaints were ignored.

"I was aware of the issue in December but the principal was nonchalant about it," said Commissioner Rhonda Hines.

"One thing the parents are saying is this school should be closed. The students and staff should be moved out into a facility until they resolve this problem and I agree. It's a very unhealthy environment for teachers or students or any other staff to be working in," said Elizabeth Davis, President of the Washington Teachers Union.

Savoy's Principal Donyale Butler attended the emotionally charged meeting but avoided questions from the crowd and media.