By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR — The bedbugs appeared to be gone, and for the time being so will the presence of backpacks at Bernice McDowell Elementary school, 22929 Brest Road.
The school has twice this month been fumigated after bedbugs were discovered. The pests were first seen March 4 and the building cleared and treated on March 8; a second treatment was conducted on March 15.
Taylor School District Assistant Supt. Teresa Winnie said that administrators followed Wayne County Health Department protocols, and also sent a note home with students to advise parents of the situation.
Winnie said last week that the fumigation treatments appeared to have worked, but more would be arranged if needed.
“Thankfully no other bugs have been seen in the school,” Winnie said. “We are hopeful that this situation is behind us.”
Winnie also said that the school has banned students from bringing backpacks from home until further notice. Student belongings must be brought in clear plastic bags, and text and library books were to remain in the building.
The ban did not include any other schools in the district. Winnie said a specific date for lifting the ban had yet to be determined.
“We plan to re-visit the backpack issue often,” Winnie said.
McDowell Principal Lynne Borg advised parents of the guidelines in a letter and through the school phone network after the second discovery of bugs, which were inside a student’s book.
It was unknown how the bedbugs first made it into the building, school officials said. McDowell Elementary currently houses about 460 students.