Denver's West High School closed through Tuesday for bed bug extermination

Bugs found in one classroom

DENVER - West High School in Denver has been shut down because of bed bugs found in one classroom.

The school, at 951 Elati St., will remain closed through Tuesday. 

Three bed bugs were found in a classroom recently and a follow up inspection determined the campus did not have an infestation, school said in the letter.

The campus shut down on Saturday so a team of exterminators can "conduct an extensive treatment of the entire building," a letter sent home to parents stated.

"However to ensure that the area is completely bug free, we will be closing the entire campus to all students, families and staff," the letter said.

Classes had not been scheduled for Monday or Tuesday prior to the bedbug find because of Columbus Day and a planning day.

"I think it's a responsible effort by whoever made the call," said Dr. Robert Hancock, an associate professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver.  He made a movie about the life of bedbugs and said an infestation at a school is unlikely. "Schools aren't great places for bedbugs because they [bedbugs] are active at night. That's when they feed on their blood, and to my knowledge no one is spending the night in this school."

Still, he said it only takes one female carried home in a backpack to start a new infestation in someone's home.

"All the students here at West should see what a bedbug looks like in the aftermath of this," said Hancock. "People need to talk about them and be aware."


Letter sent home to parents last week:

October 11, 2013
Hello West Campus Families,

We wanted to provide an update on the situation concerning the bed bugs that were recently found on the West Campus. As we previously reported, three bed bugs were discovered in a classroom. When the bugs were discovered, students and faculty were immediately removed, and the Denver Public Schools Pest Control team conducted a treatment of the area. On the two occasions that they visited campus, the team assessed the situation and determined that we do not have an infestation on the West campus.

However to ensure that the area is completely bug free, we will be closing the entire campus to all students, families and staff from Saturday, October 12th until Tuesday, October 15th. During this time, the exterminator team will conduct an extensive treatment of the entire building. The campus will then re-open on Wednesday, October 16th and all activities will resume at their regularly scheduled time.

Our primary concern is the safety and well being of all West Campus students, faculty and staff. The West Campus Administrative Team will be taking the steps outlined above to make sure that this issue has been completely resolved. If you have any questions, please visit our health clinic or call the Main Office or (720) 423-5300.

Ruth Baldivia,
Principal, West Legacy High School

Teresa Klava,
Principal, West Leadership Academy

Domonic Martinez,
Principal, West Generation Academy

Jessica Newman,
Principal, West Career Academy


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