ORANGE PARK, Fla. – A Clay County mother expressed concern Friday after she said her sons came home from elementary school with what she believes are flea bites dotting his ankles.
Heather Jean told News4Jax she first noticed her sons, a first and fifth grader, had the bug bites earlier this week.
"My first grader all week this week has just been scratching his legs and complaining about being itchy all week, and I couldn't figure out why," Jean said. "My fifth grader actually had to be taken out of his classroom because his classroom had such a bad infestation that they had to leave."
Later, she said, she received an anonymous letter saying Ridgeview Elementary was infested with fleas.
Once she realized fleas were to blame for her son’s constant scratching, Jean said she learned from other parents that their children had also been bitten.
Jean said the school and district failed to inform parents about the fleas.
“At least inform us ahead of time, let us know that there’s something going on at school,” said Jean. “Don’t let our children come home with bug bites and scratching and itching and us not knowing why.”
News4Jax reached out to the Clay County School District for answers. Spokesperson Nicole Snyder said our request was the first time the district was made aware of the possible flea issue.
She said school staff determined that there were issues with fleas related to a portable classroom on campus, but it’s unclear whether the fleas were inside or outside the classroom.
A pest control service was called in to deal with the issue and the district planned to have them spray the area over the weekend, while children are out of school, Snyder said.
She said the district wants to makes sure students have the safest and healthiest environment when they come to school. She encouraged parents to call the school or district with any questions.