SCRANTON, Pa. -- The latest problem to plague the troubled Scranton School District: mice.
Officials confirm there are rodent issues at several district schools, including Scranton High School.
At schools across the city of Scranton, students and teachers should be focused on reading, writing, and arithmetic, but definitely not rodents.
The teachers union told the Scranton School District earlier this month that mice have been seen in several schools, including three elementary schools, West Scranton Intermediate, and Scranton High School.
“The mice are running around classrooms. We can see them. There's been reports. They've been in our cafeterias. There's reports that they've been eating food,” said Rosemary Boland, the president of the Scranton Federation of Teachers. “Teachers did take pictures of the mice.”
No mice sightings were reported at West Scranton High School, but some West students say they've seen them.
“A mouse did run across my feet in class,” said West junior Jamie Spindler. “It wasn't a cooking class or anything, but I did see a mouse, and I know we do have them.”
The superintendent says a pest control company routinely sets traps at district schools, and the district is aware of the mice sightings.
“My initial reaction is we've got to get this taken care of, so I immediately talked with [Superintendent] Dr. Kirijan and learned what kind of remediation plan we have in place,” said school board member Tom Borthwick, the chairman of the buildings and grounds committee.
School officials say one idea is to wait for an extended weekend or even Easter break to go into those schools and aggressively lay down traps.
“I'm not sure when they're going to do it, but they're going to do it in a way that's safe and the least disruptive way possible,” said Borthwick.
School officials say no poisons can be used to exterminate the mice for health reasons.
“We have to make the safety of students and educators and the staff in the building while we are making sure that everything is clean,” said school board member Katie Gilmartin.
In the meantime, school officials are asking staff to make sure areas are clear of food and trash and to keep food in sealed containers.