Rodent-infested high school scored 100 on inspection weeks before closure

Rodent-infested high school scored 100 on inspection weeks before closure

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A rodent-infested high school will close for a fourth consecutive day Friday, according to Shelby County Schools.

Kirby High School was closed Thursday, just like Tuesday and Wednesday, due to a pest infestation. The district said it expects Friday to be the final day of pest extermination-related closures. The district expects classes to resume September 4--the day after Labor Day.

Sources said exterminators and cleaning crews are trying to get rid of rats, roaches, and snakes that have turned the school building into a home.

The most recent health inspection performed at Kirby High School happened August 14. The school passed that inspection, according to the Shelby County Health Department.

WMC Action News 5 requested a copy of the inspection Thursday morning. The report showed that the school received a grade of 100.

Shortly after the inspection, Shelby County Health Department received multiple complaints of rodents in the school.

On August 27, Kirby High School announced it was going to cancel classes for the following day to take care of a pest problem. That same problem forced multiple-day cancellation.

Miranda Garner is a wildlife specialist for Wildlife X Team of Mississippi. The removal service typically works inside homes and businesses.

She said Shelby County often sees issues with rodents.

"We have seen a lot of rodent problems here in Memphis," Garner said.

Shelby County Health Department sent a supervisor to the high school August 28 to help assist in the cleanup.

Health Department Officials were only able to release that the supervisor found evidence of rodent infestation at the school. That sort of evidence would typically include droppings, urine, and dead rodents.

Garner said coming into contact with those elements has the potential to spread sickness.

"Just breathing that in, being around that bacteria and the other viruses that is carried on those feces," Garner said.

It's unclear when Kirby High School will reopen to students.

WMC Action News 5 has asked Shelby County Schools multiple times about the plan for making up the missed school days. The district has not responded with any details on how that will be handled.

"We've informed families that we expect tomorrow, Friday, August 31, to be the last day Kirby High is closed as a result of pest issues. As we said yesterday, crews are working to complete the deep cleaning and renovation process inside the building and working with the health department to make sure the entire campus environment meets all standards for health and safety. We will also take advantage of the extended holiday weekend to complete the work and all final inspections so we can reopen school on Tuesday, September 4. We are eager to welcome our students and staff back, and over the next few days we will be making determinations about our plans to make-up the missed instructional time."

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