Bedbugs found in Astoria school

Michael Gianaris

September 08, 2011

Queens Chronicle wrote about Senator Gianaris'  Bed Bug Notification Bill, passed last year, a measure to prevent incidents such as the one that occurred at P.S. 70.

Bedbugs have infested PS 70, an elementary school in Astoria, according to reports published last week, which said the school has the worst bedbug problem in the city.

The Department of Education discovered the infestation last December, including evidence the bugs were breeding, but never told anyone at the school about it.

For the first time, the DOE has admitted the problem came from within the school itself. In the past, the department has claimed bedbugs were brought into schools by students.

Residents and area politicians are incensed with the agency’s oversight.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) is particularly upset, as he actually drafted a bedbug bill, which was signed into law in August 2010, requiring that schools notifty parents of any discovered bedbug cases. The legislation also requires that schools provide parents with educational materials about how to prevent bedbug infestations through health and hygiene.

“Obviously in the case of PS 70 that did not happen,” Gianaris’ office wrote in an email.

He has sent a letter to schools Chancellor Dennis Wallcott asking for an investigation into the matter.

“I respectfully request an immediate explanation and investigation as to why the Department of Education failed to comply with their own regulations at PS 70 as well as why unique notification measures were not taken after it was found to have breeding bedbugs,” Giannaris wrote in the letter.

Read the full article here.