Students seeing increase in rat sightings at elementary school

CONYERS, Ga. — A Rockdale County school is dealing with a rat problem.

Viewers sent in a tip to Channel 2 Action News that there were complaints coming from Sims Elementary School.

Parents told Channel 2's Carl Willis they are concerned an infestation could be putting their children at risk.

“I don't think it's something that they'd hide,” one parent told Willis, not identifying themselves. “It's a sanitary issue."

Rockdale County Public Schools confirmed Monday that they're working to address the issue.

They say previously they saw an increase in signs and sightings of rodents at Sims Elementary, especially where food was being stored improperly.

"I think that's scary. It's unsanitary too. It's very concerning," mother Sarah Yang told Willis.

"They need to get it cleaned because our kids eat lunch here," father Cheve Goggins said.

A school district representative said the district is taking steps and seeing some progress to get rid of the rats.


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The district held a meeting on campus Monday to inform staff about ways to keep the rats away.

In a statement, a representative said:

"We brought in additional custodial staff and pest control experts to set traps, identify entry points, eliminate food sources and take all possible measures to keep our campus free of all pests." 

"An email should have been sent out. A memo should have been sent out. Something," parent Kristi Gotier said. 

All of the parents Willis spoke with Monday said they were never informed about the issue.

"That's a problem. We as parents haven't been notified at all. And apparently, they've been knowing about this for maybe about a month," Gotier said.

The district representative said they took immediate action to correct concerns brought to their attention.

Parents just hope that attention won't fade until the rats are gone.

"They need to take it very seriously. These are children," Yang said. 

The district said there have been fewer signs and sightings of rodents since they started their pest control measures.