Bed bugs found at high school causes disruption


GREENVILLE — Greenville City Schools Superintendent Doug Fries sought to reassure concerned students and their parents following reports of bed bugs being found at Greenville High School Thursday and Friday.

On Sunday, Fries sent out a One Call message to parents that school on Monday, including extracurricular activities, would be as scheduled.

Fries said the school district had the high school reinspected by an exterminator over the weekend.

“All areas of the high school were completely free of bugs during the reinspection,” Fries said. “The building facility is completely safe and the expectation would be that all students be in attendance. The District will continue to follow its pest management control policies.”

On Friday, Fries described the bedbug findings as “isolated incidents.”

“We have consulted the [Darke County] Health Department and followed our policy related to this issue with bed bugs. We have appropriately sprayed the areas bugs were found and followed our protocol as developed in conjunction with the Health Department,” he said.

“Bed bugs are considered a nuisance and not a public health hazard,” he said.

Fries further advised, “Parents [with students] at the high school are encouraged, as a precaution, to inspect students’ coats and book bags, and if they notice any insects, to dry the belongings at high heat in a dryer for a minimum of 30 minutes.”

Greenville High School Principal Jeff Cassell said the high school did not close Friday, but concerned parents were allowed the option of picking up their students. Many students did not attend school Friday following Thursday’s incident and many more students left early on Friday.

Melissa Setser, 39, of Greenville, was arrested and jailed after she was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest on Friday at the high school after she arrived at the school to remove her child following reports of bed bugs.

The woman purportedly demanded her child be brought to her, and when this was not accomplished quickly enough by school staff, Setser became belligerent.

Greenville Police Chief Dennis L. Butts said, “She was extremely disorderly, cursing, screaming. When asked to calm down numerous times by the school resource officer, she acted in a turbulent manner, whereupon the officer advised her that she was under arrest.”

The woman refused to be handcuffed, leading to the charge of resisting arrest.

Butts said, “We realize this was a tense situation, but in a public place, we ask people to conduct themselves in a lawful manner.”

The first reported incident of bed bugs occurred during the high school’s first period Thursday morning, when a student noticed the bugs in study hall. A second instance of the bugs was detected on a book bag in a locker room locker during a physical education class later that day.

The school reports that the two students affected were examined by the school nurse and sent home as a precaution. The two areas were isolated and treated by a professional exterminator.

On Friday, single bed bugs were detected in two different classrooms. These two areas were isolated and treated by an exterminator.

In 2012, bed bugs were found at Woodland Primary School on a book bag and two coats of students.

Information on Greenville City Schools pest control management policies can be found on its website.

By Erik Martin

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Erik Martin may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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