Bed Bugs Take Over Whitehaven Job Corps Campus

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(Memphis) - Students gathered at the front gate of Benjamin Hooks Job Corps Center in Whitehaven. They protested an ongoing problem there; bed bugs.

“I'm not going to say Job Corps is a bad place, but we want our voices to be heard,” said Latoya Daniels who is a student there.

But our conversation was cut short when center directors came out to break up the student's gathering.

I was able to see one student had bites all over his arms. Latoya Daniels stuck around and talked to me after everyone else left. She says not enough is being done to get rid of the bed bugs. When she came to center three weeks ago, she was warned by staff.

“They told me to bring my own sheets, they were infested with bed bug,” said Daniels. “I always thought bedbugs were a myth until I got here to Job Corps and then I got bit and people had them in a bag and were showing them around.”

Directors of the center say they're working to get rid of the problem.  John Colenberg offered up a statement, “The center director along with the regional office and health inspectors are working towards a process to eliminate those issues.”

A different director told me off camera they sprayed chemicals as well as used heat treatments to try to get rid of the bugs but he says it has not fixed the problem. A request was made to let the students out early for their summer break so they can get rid of the bugs without putting the health of their students in danger.

“I prefer not to get eaten up,” Daniels said, as she laughed.

She says she's grateful for the education Job Corps is giving her, but hopes they stand by their word and get the bed bugs out.

“Hopefully the department of labor or whoever is over this will pull through,” she said.

News Channel 3 tried to find out what the U.S. Department of Labor plans to do about the bugs now, but they never called us back on Thursday.