What to Know
- One New York school was battling with raccoons and fleas before the start of the school year — then the problem somehow got even worse
- As they were taking care of those problems, an even bigger one emerged: After cutting into the ceiling, asbestos was discovered
- Students will go to other nearby schools for the first week of the year, and staff is hopeful everything should be taken care of September 9
As students were set to return from summer vacation, one New York school was battling with raccoons and fleas — and then the problem somehow got even worse.
The administration at Haverstraw Elementary in Rockland County was battling with an adult and two baby raccoons that had taken up residence in the ceiling of their lobby, when they discovered they had another problem on their hands: fleas.
The bugs had infested part of the building where the critters were living, so the school had to get the itchy insects removed as well. As they were taking care of that problem, an even bigger one emerged: After cutting into the ceiling, asbestos was discovered.
In order to get the building safe and suitable for children to return, the school has hired specialists and pest control workers to take care of the issues. The building has been treated “aggressively,” said Ileana Eckert, the superintendent of North Rockland Central School District.
However the school has to make some big changes for the students who are set to return after the Labor Day weekend. All the students will head to the nearby high school for Tuesday, and the grades will be split up and head to different schools for the rest of the week.
Administrators are hopeful everything should be taken care of — raccoons, fleas, asbestos and all — by the start of the second week of school, September 9.