Mice are loose at Lawrence High School

Rodent droppings are not healthy, expert says


Lawrence High School classrooms are filling up, and not with new students, but with mice.

For most of the school year, there has been a mice epidemic and the teachers have been dealing with it themselves. The Lawrence Teachers Association was complaining for months, as the facilities department had done nothing about it, according to the teachers. The droppings were first found by the art suite door, which at the time was broken and needed repair.

At the Lawrence Board of Education meeting on March 18, LTA President Rachel Kreiss spoke up about the cleanliness problem, art suite door and brought up the lack of staff to clean at night. She pleaded to the board, that they should “walk the grounds” and to respond to the emails and calls about this problem.

“The teachers are dealing with this themselves, setting up traps and cleaning up droppings, they should not have to deal with this,” Kreiss said. “The school used to employ more full time custodians and the buildings used to be cleaner during that time.”

There are many health risks to being near and breathing in the mouse droppings, and mice themselves. They are not a clean rodent, and can cause harm to the environment and human body.

“Wherever a mouse walks, it’s basically urinating, the do what’s called ‘micro-droplets’ so wherever they are walking they are constantly urinating,” said Rudy Hosler, manager at Arrow Exterminating. “They are also defecating over 100 times a day, per mouse, you have food contamination, and surface contamination and they get into our food sources.”

The next day after the meeting, the school cleaned the art suite and fixed the door, but the problem still persists. Parents have taken to Facebook, where they urge the school and the facilities department to take care of this publicly, after sending emails and calling the school privately.

“Mice can also cause damage to insulation of walls, they will burrow inside of it to live, they also have a nasty habit of chewing on electrical wires which can cause fires over time,” Hosler said.

Not only are the mice contaminating the school by simply existing, they are ruining electronics and wiring by chewing on it and living in the walls. The school is currently dealing with the situation as recent developments have occurred.

Superintendent, Ann Pedersen weighed in on the epidemic and explained what the school is currently doing to take action. “We have the exterminator coming in more frequently, we hope the upcoming FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) project helps protect the building better,” Pedersen said, referring to the $75 million seawall project the school districts aims to build at the high school campus.