Tyner Academy treated for bedbugs; teachers concerned it's a larger problem

Tyner Academy treated for bedbugs; teachers concerned it's a larger problem

February 14th, 2019 by Meghan Mangrum in Breaking News

This story was updated Feb. 14, 2019, at 5:52 p.m.

Bedbugs were reported at one Hamilton County school this week, prompting an exterminator to be called.

On Tuesday bedbugs were reported in one classroom at Tyner Academy (grades 9-12), according to Hamilton County Schools spokesman Tim Hensley. A district exterminator was sent out to spray the affected area, which was only one room.

However, several teachers and staff members have reached out to the Times Free Press, expressing concern that bedbugs are a larger problem.

One teacher, who declined to be identified for fear of retribution, said she was concerned parents and students had not been notified of the problem.

Parent and teacher conferences were held at the school the same evening central office personnel were made aware of the complaint.

Teachers also said there were multiple instances of bugs being found in the school and that they reported the problem before Tuesday but nothing was done.

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department inspected the school Wednesday, according to health department officials. The inspector did not find any evidence of an infestation.

One room was treated and "one chair removed from room as a precaution in addition to spraying block of rooms," according to the inspection report.

A follow-up is not required, but there will be ongoing monitoring.

Bedbug infestations usually occur around or near areas where people sleep such as in apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, cruise ships, buses, trains and dorm rooms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bedbugs are not known to spread disease and not considered dangerous, but several bites could trigger an allergic reaction that might require medical attention, according to the CDC.

Tyner Academy is the second school to be affected by bedbugs in Hamilton County this year. In January, exterminators were called twice to Brainerd High to treat isolated areas for bedbugs, Hensley said.

Contact staff writer Meghan Mangrum at mmangrum@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.