Hena Daniels from Eyewitness News (wsmv) did a horrible job on segment where a boy who brought bed bugs to school.

The school is Washington Elementary and the video shows a resident being interviewed; when the resident was asked if he would allow his children to go to school with bed bugs and why, he said ‘no, it’s pretty obvious’. The reporter then made a statement that ‘Obvious to some, apparently not to others’. One resident said that she would not allow her child to go to school until the areas the child had been in were cleaned.

The video states that Fernando Silva, Vice Principal, sent a letter to all parents which included the statement “… A small health incident today involving bedbugs” and also stated that they “…removed, sanitized, and returned the affected clothing…”.

Did the school handle this properly? If you watch the video, you’ll hear Hena mention that it was a ‘little boy’ who brought in the bed bugs. Did the school release this information?

If the child’s name is known, that child could very well be scarred for life! The fact that gender was released is something many would consider poor judgment!

Children can sometimes be cruel; should any child be associated with having transported the bed bugs, that child may have to endure a traumatic experience that could scar deep enough to last a lifetime!

  • Does the school know for a fact that the child brought the bedbugs to class?
  • Was the classroom already infested?
  • How does the school know that another child didn’t bring the bugs to class with them and they found their way to this child (or his coat, etc)?

People are afraid to talk about having bad bugs because there is such a stigma associated with the whole topic. People see those having bed bugs as being poor and unclean.

Narrowing it down to a classroom, then gender, could cause panic and push others to point the finger, likely at a student that had nothing to do with it.

Personally, I think Hena Daniels did a very poor job at reporting! The video should have taken a spin on how bed beds can find their way into schools rather than how negligent parents can be!

Washington School is located at 685 Baldwin St in Waterbury, CT 06706 and can be reached at (203) 574-8177 – 10/28/08

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14 replies
  1. Sue says:

    To me this is very annoying. I know she also talked about what the school did to control the bugs, but the question, “Would you allow your child to come to school with bed bugs?”, is very ridiculous to me. What is the parent supposed to do, isolate the child and her family from the world just because they happen to have a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs are very hard to get rid of, and it’s not the family’s fault that they have it, we need to focus as a whole how to solve this problem and stop trying to scorn or shun those who do have this problem, not saying that everybody who does not have this problem does this but most of them do. I know that the child coming to school with bed bugs risk other homes getting a bed bug infestation, but what is the parents supposed to do? (as i said before). The government needs to start paying more attention to this problem.

  2. dana says:

    Hello, new here. Reading you’re comments, and about the school thing, weather it was inappropriate or not for the principal to comment and report as he did, most kids will not retain a sense of being ashamed. They don’t understand the caliber of this sort of thing and will more likely than not, remain non reactive. Its actually the parents who make it a big deal to or in front of the child, and get the children worrying about status and bugs themselves.

    However, you must know that I don’t take the bedbug situation lightly. I discovered I had them after a few bouts of the itchy bites, but less than 10 total in the weeks I had it. Turns out my 11 year old sons room was the hot spot. May have brought them home from middle school, but who knows when. My bedroom is right above his and bed bugs (according to the pco) travel up the electrical through outlets. I never got upset with my son, the school, or anyone. I was reacting to the bites, he was not. We became proactive and handled it.

    Now don’t think because I talk about it mildly, it was not a nightmare! Even though we had it briefly, my life and reactions and mental health was that of someone who had been battling unsuccessfully for 10 years. Paranoia, an er visit due to a terror attack, sleepless, constant checking of my 3 children, including taking turns watching them sleep and “guarding them”, literally. They can eat me all day long, but ill be damned if you touch my poor sleeping babies. My husband had no care at all because its just a bug. While that may be true, its also one that sleeps with you. Little different than knowing there are a few ants in the kitchen or a spider on the wall downstairs.

    I have done uncountable hours of research and have a close relationship with my pco, spoken to countless experts in several states and compiled data. The more you know, the more it will scare the #$%! Out of you. BUT, the more you know the more proactive you can be.
    You will win this battle. You will WIN. Do not get paranoid and panic like I did. Sucks, but let’s put our big kid pants on. I had to be my own therapist, and a little rationality goes a long way. I have lots of facts and advice, so ask away.

    Ok, totally gross. Humiliating, no. Why? Because its not you’re fault! I personally told everyone I know about my problem so they could be proactive too. Being a good person in that I wouldn’t want to spread my problem to people I care about. I would expect the same. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. (I am not in an apartment by the way, I own a home. So don’t think its just the apartment people)

    The more you live in fear and paranoia mixed with lovely nerves, a dash of ocd, a pinch of anxiety, a touch of isolation and all the other wonderful ingredients, you have a deadly heath concern that far outweighs the bugs. Personally, id take the bites. When you’re heart physically hurts and you cry when you see a fuzzy on the bed, honey, please relax. You’re children will be affected and maybe even develop a sense of panic and worry too. Almost like you’re encouraging the behavior.

    We need to be tough. Do what you preach to you’re kids. They say ‘mom, a bug is in my bed’ do you panic and freak out in an anxiety attack? No, you kill the bug, reassure him that its ok, its gone, and that mommy and daddy will take care of it and not to worry. Bet he sleeps just fine. Exercise the childlike ‘everything’s going to be ok’ theory.

    My experience was horrifying and I still worry a bit. But life is peaceful here and I fixed the problem and myself quickly. Reply if you need me, advise, info or to help give you hope.

  3. ashley says:

    I was at work one day when i come home my mothers showed me my 8 mth old daughter’s legs, she was covered in red bites which by this time looked like welps! Terrified of what was wrong I ran up stairs and started checking! Within no time I found some on my bed and also her my daughters’. I took everything outside and began started calling the apartment manager and she assumed that i brought them when i moved in 7mths ago.

    I was so ashamed and embarrassed and humiliated no one has any ideal on how much it really infects you in your everyday life! And I’m just hoping that my daughter does not scar from this terrible deal and that no one that knows me thinks hard of me because of this I’m doing the necessary steps that I need to to get and remain clean!!!

  4. sandy says:

    That is bad! At my little girls school, they have extra clothing donated by other families to give to the children who are out of dress code. I think they should stop accepting and sharing clothing. Because once the child has the clothes on, they can carry bugs home with them. And the clothing is kept at home, washed and dried at the home. But we know that if the clothes aren’t taken immediately from the dryer and placed in a plastic bag and sealed, the clothes, regardless of whether or not they are on a hanger or a shelf, or in a storage container, they can get little bugs in them still.

    This is traumatic for the family because that little child could have picked them up from someone else.

  5. chuck007 says:

    What I did and it worked even though I’m still fighting my infestation is get rid of the standard mattresses. I went and purchase reasonably price air mattresses . there is no where for the bugs to hide, move the bed frame away from the wall , spread some diatomaceous earth all around , Like I said this worked for me .

  6. hdcase says:

    The potential for a massive outbreak of bed bugs in a school is enormous and from there large numbers of homes could become infested. Schools do need to develop concrete plans for dealing with just such an eventuality. I wonder if they were found to be negligent, if the could be held responsible for the cost of extermination in multiple homes.

  7. jennie says:

    i think its not the childs fault…
    few months ago i started itching like crazy, and i told my guardians and they said that [[oh its probably because of a candy or spicy food]] so i stopped eating them but i still kept getting more bites. today my friends came to my house and later on they started itching too. i was soo scared wondering what it was, my friends sayd that my apt might have bed bugs. i was soo embarrased that i denied it. Also last few weeks of school , my friends kept asking whut happen to your leg and arm? so i kept saying it was allergy. when i met new friends they looked at my arms and they never talked to me again. i felt like a loner. i didnt know what to do. so today i cheked my bed and i found bunch of bed bug. i vacuumed it like a crazy person. im soo scared right now, and i dont know what to do. also because of it i cant show my body to anyone, and im even scared to look my own body. im about to graduate middle school next month i really want to wear dress and look pretty but i cant show my legs or arm because its all been bitten. my even best friends are getting away from me. i dont know what to do so can any of u help me and give informations about how to get rid of it and get rid of the bruses that i have???
    please!!!!!! i

  8. pat marsden says:

    It’s not the childs fault. Children can be clean and wearing clean or new clothes and still pick up bugs
    from the seats of the bus or from other kids clothes in lockers or closets.

  9. mary says:

    Around November we bought a mattress from used store .they were wrapped up and every thing.a couple of months later i started to get little bite marks taht itched like crazy. they were all on my arms and leg…i had to were long sleeve shirts and pants to school because i was embarrassed. its so annoying. we live in an apartment so we didn’t want them to get any where else and harm them so please some one help me.

  10. B Cousins says:

    Apparently, none of you have been terrorized by bedbugs. Just having been bitten by a bedbug is traumatizing to a child! Never mind getting bit up all night long, night after night, and not knowing what it is…my family has been through this, and it’s awful…we can’t sleep. You “imagine” bugs biting you, itch constantly. For me, an adult, it’s tramatizing, never mind for a child. How insensitive can you be???

  11. Jim says:

    Brian,

    It was a story published on the web by the news station, it may have been in your local paper, but they placed it on the web for the world to see.

    I watched that video (the link is at the top of the page) and was shocked that the story focused on blaming the parent rather than education.

    My point about narrowing it down is that mentioning it’s a boy is yet another way for parents to hypothesize who the child was. Something like this can turn bad if information about who the child was gets out and that child could end up being ridiculed and more.

    The story should NOT be about blaming a parent for allowing their child to bring bed bugs to school, but rather educating parents on how to spot and deal with these bugs.

    Jim.

  12. Brian Alba says:

    Yes Jim, it narrows it down to 200 boys that attend my child’s school. My son certainly didn’t walk away scarred for life,

    I would be the first to acknowledge if the story was irresponsible.

    The story was not about the spreading and controlling bugs. It was a local story about what happened at my son’s school on a LOCAL television station.

  13. Jim says:

    Fair enough Brian,

    But if you watch the video that Hena released, she clearly makes it a case of a negligent parent allowing a child to bring bed bugs to school.

    She also mentioned that it was a boy which narrows it down that much more.

    Rather than put the blame on a parent, it would be better to focus on the spread and control of bedbugs.

    Jim.

  14. Brian Alba says:

    I would have to disagree with you. My child goes to that school and I think Hena Daniels handled the story very well. The station did not release the name of the child so no one was scarred for life. AS a parent, I didnt walk away with negligent parents doing this to their child. I walked away with what the school did and how to avoid bed bugs in a public setting.

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