Sykesville Middle students sent home from Outdoor School after bed bugs found

Emily Chappell
Contact ReporterCarroll County Times

Sykesville Middle School students at the Outdoor School were dismissed early Thursday afternoon because of an outbreak of bed bugs, Carroll County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Steven Johnson confirmed.

Johnson said there are at least two cabins at the Outdoor School, located at the Hashawha Environmental Center near Westminster, that have bed bugs. If there are bugs in just one cabin, usually they can mitigate it, he said.

“[With at least two cabins], we feel like it’s best if we get the students out early,” he said.

Students were released to go back to Sykesville Middle around 1 p.m., he said. Any belongings in the infested cabins would be going back sealed and transported to the school in a bus by themselves, Johnson said.

Johnson said the school system also will be providing students with resources about what to do with the clothing and sheets.

CCPS has a procedure to deal with these issues, he said, because they’d had to address bed bugs at the Outdoor School before.

“We have bed bugs every so often. We’re used to this,” Johnson said.

Because the building is owned by Carroll County Government, the county will bring in a company it works with that uses heat — not pesticides or insecticides — to kill the bugs.

The company will bring in dogs first to find the bed bugs, he said.

“Once the dogs alert us to where they are, then the heating process will being,” Johnson said, adding that once the heat treatment is finished, the dogs will go back in and check.

Johnson said the plan is to have students back in the Outdoor School next week.

emily.chappell@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7862

twitter.com/EmilyChappell13

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