San Francisco parents concerned over school’s rodent problem, filthy classrooms

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Rodents and filthy classrooms in disrepair are a reality at a school in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Parents at Buena Vista Horace Mann School are concerned about the conditions their children are exposed to every day at school.

Students and parents say, rat droppings cover the floors and there are problems with broken toilets and crumbling classrooms.

“It’s an old school. I mean it’s an architecturally beautiful school but it’s an old school. It needs a face lift,” said parent Shannon Dodge.

Dodge says the school in the Mission may look nice from the outside, but on the inside, it’s a much different story.

“Kids are seeing the mice running along the floor and then there’s this unsanitary stuff,” she said. “It’s not okay.”

Dodge’s son has been at the school since kindergarten. Four years later, she said conditions in his classrooms are now deteriorating and piling up with rodent droppings.

“There was a mouse infestation in his class this year,” Dodge said. “The teacher was pregnant and she was really unhappy and I think probably pretty distracted that she had to close off a portion of her classroom because there was mouse poop and pee and there was nesting/bedding material.”

She said one time her son told her all of the bathrooms were broken or unusable so he had to wait until home from school to relieve himself.

“I certainly wasn’t aware that there were sharp pieces jutting out of heaters that could hurt kids,” she said. “I wasn’t aware that there was tiles falling out of the ceiling, that meant classrooms had to be shut down days on end.”

KRON4 reached out to the San Francisco Unified School District about these conditions.

In a statement, the district said,

“Any issues that relate to health, safety or sanitation are prioritized by the district. The kitchen at BVHM is regularly inspected by DPH and receives a high score. Kitchen staff are diligent in keeping a safe and clean space. No issues about the kitchen were reported to staff.

With over 120 school sites, and limited resources, SFUSD’s Buildings & Grounds team receives an average of 20,000 work requests a year and has to focus most of its effort on addressing critical life safety issues at sites, and/or compliance with existing legal mandates.”

To parents like Dodge, it’s not enough and change needs to happen now.

“[I’m] really disappointed to hear that response from the school district,” she said.

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