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Bedbug-stricken school raises money to replace lost supplies

Teachers at a school where four classrooms were damaged by a bedbug fumigation are are holding a fundraiser this weekend to replace the supplies they lost.

Seven teachers at P.S. 197 lost thousands of dollars worth of books and other supplies when four of the school’s classrooms were treated for bedbugs earlier this year with liquid instead of air-based fumigation, said Lucille Mauro, the school’s teachers union chapter leader. To help replace the supplies, a group of teachers at the Midwood, Brooklyn school is throwing a car wash at the school tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We’re just happy to get anything back,” Mauro said.

The Department of Education is waiting for the results of a state Department of Environmental Conservation investigation before it decides whether to replace the supplies, said spokeswoman Marge Feinberg. The city has also banned the vendor it used to fumigate the school, she said.

Mauro said staff at the school expect to eventually be reimbursed for at least some of the damaged supplies. But in the meantime, the teachers must teach. The car wash is an attempt to help prevent the seven teachers from falling behind, she said.

“Everything’s a procedure, and so we’re just sitting back waiting and it’s hard to wait,” Mauro said. “The teachers really want to get back on their feet and get back into their routine.”

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