Scabies outbreak at S.E. school concerns parents

Parents at a Southeast D.C. school are outraged they weren't told sooner about a scabies outbreak on campus.

The Birney Building in Southeast Washington is divided into two charter schools: Septima Clark Charter, an all-boys school, and Excel Academy, an all-girls school.

Kayla Norwood attends Excel Academy.

“Very gross,” she says.

Her mother, Theresa Livingston, is also grossed out by the scabies scare. She says it wasn’t until she picked up Kayla last Wednesday that she was told several kids had scabies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, scabies are microscopic mites that hide underneath the upper layers of the skin. They cause itching and a pimple-like rash and can easily be spread thorough skin contact. Only a doctor’s prescription can kill them.

The issue is so serious, school administrators decided to close the school for two days last week.

The principal at Septima Clark would not go on camera, but said he had two confirmed cases and that they used Thursday and Friday to fumigate the building. A parent from Excel Academy says more than 20 girls were affected.

“That’s why they had to pull all the carpets from off the floors,” they said.

ABC7 tried to confirm that number, but the principal at Septima Clark never returned calls.

“We need to know what’s going on,” says one father.

He is upset over the lack of communication. His 4-year-old son caught scabies from his sister, who attends Septima Clark.

“It’s important for us to let people know because if they don’t know the more and more students get it,” he says.

He worries that because school is about to end, other students will show up with scabies and expose kids in the neighborhoods.

Livingston says she is not taking a chance.

“I might be transferring her to another school,” she says.