CEDARTOWN, Ga. – Cedartown High School students tell 11Alive News that they continue to find cockroaches in the school cafeteria despite emergency measures to curb the insect infestation.
"We were sitting at lunch today and we saw one crawl across the floor," senior Austin Smith said. "A student killed it."
The school system has been trying largely without success to kill the cockroaches that have overrun the high school cafeteria and ultimately ended up in the food.
"We've been very aggressive in calling in these folks (exterminators)," Polk County School Superintendent Dr. William Hunter said. "They were here twice last week."
11Alive received photos and tips about roaches in the food from viewers. The photos show bugs floating in peaches, an antenna sticking out of jello, and roach crawling near the jello cups. Kat Hansbrough is one of the viewers that sent in a tip, "Never in my life have I seen such horrible eating conditions in an institution where children should feel safe," she said.
Tenth-grader Holli Staples was one of the first to spot them.
"It had been cooked into the roll," she said. "What if I had ate it? That's disgusting!"
Holli and fellow student Kellsie Beckom started a petition, asking the school to do something about the bugs.
The cafeteria has been shut down for the rest of the school year. Until then, students will eat prepackaged food or food prepared at cafeterias at other schools.
"I wouldn't eat in there and I sure won't let kids eat in there," Hunter told 11Alive News.
Polk County Environmental manager Leighann Gaines told 11Alive's Kaitlyn Ross she did the health inspection on the cafeteria April 17th. At that time, there were no signs of an infestation. The cafeteria received a 91% on the report. She also said the school has been very proactive in trying to fight the persistent pests. But so far, the bugs have prevailed.