‘Students are scared’: Revere teachers say mice, rats, feces are among many problems in the schools

REVERE, Mass. — Revere Teachers Association is outlining unsafe working and learning conditions across the district after they cited a spike in violence, sewage in the hallways, and even mice and rats in their classrooms.

“Our buildings are not environmentally safe,” said co-President Jane Chapin. “Students are scared,” said co-president Michelle Ervin.

Co-Presidents of Revere’s Teachers Association Jane Chapin and Michelle Ervin are once again speaking out against what they call “dangerous working and learning conditions across the district.”

“Teachers have mice running through the classrooms and there are mice droppings in the closet,” said Chapin.

During a fiery school committee meeting Tuesday night, teachers painted the same disturbing picture.

“The staff has seen rats in locker rooms and vents and even into the third floor of the building,” said a Revere High School teacher.

But members of the RTA say it doesn’t stop at mice or rats. In one case they reported raw sewage on the hallway floors at one of the public schools during a storm.

“They had to cancel school and send students home because there was a massive sewage overflow the sewage permeated the building,” said Chapin.

“There are pictures of students walking around like this because they can’t deal with the smell,” said Ervin.

The RTA says they will pitch health and safety improvements to the school committee this week.

Revere Superintendent Dianne Kelly told Boston 25 that their schools are “safe and clean.”

“We have a phenomenal maintenance and custodial team that addresses any issue immediately when reported. We are investigating the claim of rats at the high school but have not been able to verify that claim at this point. Our building team has indicated they have not seen any evidence to support that claim,” Kelly said. “I’m definitely saddened by the way our students and schools were portrayed at the school committee meeting - especially the portrayal of our students with significant special needs. We have many incredible teachers and other staff who work very hard to bring joy and productive learning to our students. Our community has always been very supportive of our schools including Monday night when the City Council approved a half-billion-dollar bond to build a new high school. I know that the school committee will continue working work with the teachers union to negotiate a new contract that meets the needs of our students and the community.”

Kelly also acknowledged that students and staff were sent home early one day recently after a mistake by road crews working near the school caused toilets to overflow.

“We sent everyone home that day out of an abundance of caution and deep cleaned the building. It was fixed within a matter of hours - again with great collaboration between our maintenance teams and the city,” Kelly said.

Other reported issues in Revere schools include understaffing and a spike in student violence.

“I’ve been hit kicked slashed scratched bit spit at,” said a school teacher.

During the meeting committee members said these requests for action were still being negotiated while dozens of teachers watched on.

“Teachers don’t want to be here,” said Ervin.

These disruptions will only get worse if not immediately addressed, according to the RTA.

“We need leadership, administration, and school committee to lead us through this crisis,” said RTA Vice President Roxanne Campbell.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW

Comments on this article