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Parents say fleas still a problem at Ridgeview Elementary

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ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Parents of Ridgeview Elementary students are frustrated that a flea problem at the school has dragged on for nearly two weeks.

News4Jax first reported on the problem 12 days ago, but as of Tuesday night, parents continued to report their children had red bites all over their bodies. One parent sent photos of the bite marks and welts.

The Clay County District Schools said Wednesday it had gone "above and beyond" to solve this problem. Exterminators were at the school for what it said was a final day, and the hope is all the fleas are gone.

"I feel like it’s gotten a little out of hand," parent Heather Jean said.

Jean's fifth-grade daughter has finally returned to class, but she's still holding her first-grader home from school.

"They’ve been mainly spraying a whole lot after hours," Jean said. "I was informed that they do spray a little bit during school if needed, but it’s mainly been after school."

Clay County said it normally uses internal pest control workers for its schools, but because of the concern at Ridgeview, an outside company was brought in, and the last treatment was Wednesday.

Jean said she can’t understand why this process took so long. She said she has contacted the principal, district administration and the health department and sees a lot of finger pointing.

"My next step was to go to the mayor and the governor, because the school district tells me they don’t know what’s going on and the health department tells me it’s not their area of expertise," Jean said. "But it’s the health department!"

About the Author:

Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.