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NEWS: Instagram page displaying student sent-in bugs around BHS

by Brooke VandeLoo and Sophie Nahorski

Students at Batavia High School are fed up with the variety of bugs crawling around at this school. To spread awareness to this issue, Marisa Pepping, a junior at Batavia High School, has started an Instagram account called bhsbugs, created in September of 2021 when she was just a freshman, in order to put a variety of bugs on exhibit for all students and staff members. 

Students and staff alike are able to send in their own pictures of various bugs that they have spotted around the school. This is used as evidence for the Instagram page, so that others can view the wide variety of concerning bugs that prance around the school floors. There is photo proof of cockroaches, centipedes, various types of spiders, and even a mantis.

Pepping’s personal favorite picture, a fellow student sent-in photo, is the one of the upside down cockroach, stating that it is very emotional and sad to see a bug in that condition.

The Instagram page has captions like “lurking in the corner” and “i’m scared.” It also features the account who sent in the photo. One post even features a video of a cockroach crawling around a classroom.

Students that suffer from entomophobia have a hard time focusing at school knowing that bugs such as cockroaches, spiders, and centipedes can come crawling onto their desks, or even into their backpacks, at any given moment. Many students have mentioned having the fear of cleaning out their backpack at the end of the year and finding a dead cockroach. 

“I was disturbed by one of the videos because it was in the culinary arts room where people are cooking food, and there was just a cockroach walking around on the floor,” Pepping said.

Finding a bug in a room where food is made and produced is sickening. It makes students wonder if it is the same in the school cafeteria and in the drinking fountains. 

Bugs like cockroaches and flies are capable of carrying disease. This is incredibly unsanitary for students that eat food from the school cafeteria. 

Pepping says that a teacher even made a joke in her class about the walls of the school being full of cockroaches. 

“We should start a club to fix this issue,” she said. 

Teachers are also aware of the bugs, as there have been cases of them disrupting class, because they are crawling around and it frightens the students.

“There was a spider hanging from the ceiling,” said junior Paige Hubbard of an experience in her Spanish class. “I find it very gross that there was a spider floating in there air when I looked up it caused a huge disruption in my class because everyone was grossed out.”

Cockroaches also trigger asthma, as well as allergens, which many students at the school have. As long as the school is willing to spend some money, it is possible to get rid of these pests. 

Batavia High School has an extermination company used but is not very effective, with dead cockroaches carcasses still being found on the floor. With a more productive extermination company, and the help of students staying clean, the Batavia High School community can not only put an end to the pesky bugs that crawl around the BHS, but also put an end to the bhsbugs page once and for all. 

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