Kirby High School closed for pest treatment after rat, snake complaints


Video appears to show a snake inside Kirby High School last week. (submitted)

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Kirby High School was closed Tuesday due to a pest infestation, Shelby County Schools said.

Families were alerted by phone and text Monday night. Crews will conduct a thorough inspection of the school and perform treatment, SCS said.

"It has been difficult to find the source of the problem, so we have contracted the services of an external vendor to resolve the issue as soon as possible," the district said in a statement. "For this reason and in the interest of student health and safety, we have decided to cancel classes today, Tuesday, August 28."

Students at Kirby posted videos to Facebook that appear to show rats and a snake in the school last week. They also said they saw roaches in the school.

"It came in the cafeteria and they got it out," a student said. "Then yesterday there was a rat under the bleachers."

Helen Collins says she volunteers at the school and claims the problem isn’t as bad as people are making it out to be.

"It's not about things jumping everywhere," she said. "It's about having them out the building so they can do what they got to do to clean it up.

"There is no way in God's creation that Kirby is the only school with the rodent in it."

Neither the school board chair nor district officials agreed to an interivew, but the superintendent has said that this school year, SCS pumped millions into maintaining their buildings, 60 of which are more than 70 years old.

SCS says they'll continue to work with pest control professionals to figure out the source of the problem.

UPDATE: In a statement sent to WREG, SCS says:

"We are informing families that classes at Kirby High School will be canceled again tomorrow, Wednesday, August 29. Crews continue to work around the clock to inspect the building and perform all of the necessary treatments to eliminate the problem and prevent further issues. The health and safety of students and staff is our top priority, so we are taking every precaution to ensure the school is fit for everyone to return." 

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