Rats, insects run rampant in La Porte High School

By Jonathan Martinez - Anchor/Reporter

LA PORTE, Texas - What do rats, roaches and other insects have in common?

They are all problems students at La Porte High School say they're dealing with on a daily basis.

They've even recently shared some pictures on social media that students say were taken inside the school.

"It's kind of scary but we've gotten used to it," Alyssa Atilano, a La Porte High School senior, said. "Sometimes they'll fall from the ceilings and run across the room and go back up."

While researching the story initially about the alleged rodent problem, the district says part of the issue is the nearly $100 million construction project on campus set to open this fall that, in turn, has disrupted the campus' "natural habitat."

The district released the following statement:

"An extensive construction project of approximately $100 million is currently underway at La Porte High School, where a new science and math classroom building and multi-purpose center are scheduled to open this fall. As a result, the natural habitat has been disrupted, and construction features such as temporary walls are in place in some areas of the school. Our maintenance department aggressively works on pest control and has traps set in inconspicuous places throughout the building. These traps are checked every morning before students arrive and quickly attended to during the day if needed, following all state pest control regulations."

Altilano says she recently went to the emergency room after she was bitten by something in class and she wasn't the only one.

"One of my classmates, she has bites all on her legs and her chest and arms," Atilano said.

We asked the district about any possible bug problems and they tell us just last week a teacher brought an insect issue to their attention.

They sent out a sample to have tested and released a follow-up statement:

"Last week, one of our La Porte High School teachers made administrators aware of the presence of insects in her classroom. In accordance with Integrated Pest Management regulations, the district sent a sample to the Texas A&M Extension Service, where it has been confirmed to be an insect, and the entomologists agree that it is not associated with rodents. The area in which the insects were found has been thoroughly cleaned, and no other areas of the school have been affected.

All upholstered furniture is also being removed from that section of the high school."

That's little comfort though for parents who say something more needs to be done.

"If it were a reverse situation, CPS (Child Protective Services) would be at my house trying to get my children from me because I have them in an area that's infested with rats and I'm negligent or whatever," said Alyssa's mother, Rachel Davila.

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