Hamtramck elementary school battles cockroach problem

Roaches found at Early Childhood Elementary School in Hamtramck

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. - Parents packed a school board meeting Wednesday to get answers about what's being done to rid a Hamtramck school of cockroaches.

Parents of students at the Hamtramck school showed up to the board meeting after five months of dealing with the problem.

Emily Wooten said she and her son, Dylan, have a routine when he gets home from school.

"Every day we go into the back door," Wooten said. "He changes his clothes on the back porch, they stay there until they're washed and dried and we know they're clean."

Dylan is a second-grader at Early Childhood Elementary School in Hamtramck. Since November, the roaches have been a major problem.

"Then he started coming home saying they were naming roaches, they had families of roaches," Wooten said.

She said she couldn't believe roaches were roaming the school building.

"Multiple kids had seen them," Wooten said. "They were coming out from behind the chalkboards."

Hamtramck schools acknowledged the roaches are around, and last week an exterminator sprayed the entire building during spring break. The superintendent said there's no indication the school has an infestation of roaches.

"No we're not, but at the same token, we want none at all, actually," Superintendent Thomas Niczay said. "We hope there isn't. My sense is there is not."

Niczay said they were using bait and gelling once a month, but that's changed.

"We went from once a month on this to once a week, and in the building that we found it was twice and week, and now we're doing the spray," Niczay said.

The school hopes the increased spraying will eliminate the problem and give parents comfort.

"I just want to see the problem solved," Wooten said.

There is another pesticide spray scheduled for Friday.

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