Erie County Health Department officials are probing an apparent bedbug infestation that has stopped the driver education program at Clarence High School. In a letter sent to parents, the school said it has canceled the program for the semester because the cars used for driver training were infested.
Parent Rebecca Nicometi complained to the school board on Monday about a lack of information.
"The reports that have gone to the nurse, the bites and the photos of the bites on the girls' legs, the bedbugs that have been pulled off the childrens' sweat shirts and videotaped as it came out of a car," Nicometi said. "The videotapes of the bedbugs in the cars themselves should be evidence enough that the board and the school need to take action and to be very transparent with the parents about what's going on."
Nicometi said the problem is extensive.
"You have 120 slots signed up for this driver's ed program. Every backpack, every sneaker, every coat, every person, every student who comes in and out of those cars for an entire year are bringing this infestation into the school. Those students are also taking their infestations home," she said.
She even talked with Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks about the problem.
"The backpacks of the children who are in these cars be segregated in the school. I believe that is now taking place," she said. "However, I still think that this issue needs to be further reviewed. It is a public health concern, because bed bugs do not go away by putting the cars through Delta Sonic, as what we were told O'Day Driving School has done."
There is a lot of money involved, as well, with parents like Nicometi paying $475 for a driver ed class.
Erie County Health Department officials say they are looking into the situation. WBFO reached out to O'Day's Driving School, which supplies the cars, but have not yet heard back.