Parents furious that rodent problem still not taken care of at South Side school

Nearly a week after being promised the rodent problem would be taken care of, more mouse droppings were found at a South Side school Monday.

The city health department has now issued Mollison Elementary a failing grade, it's second in two months.

It's not the news parents wanted to hear as their children returned to Mollison Elementary.

"I thought the issue would have been straightened out over the Thanksgiving break, know what I'm saying?" Monique Johnson said.

Last week, parents and community activists protested outside the Bronzeville school after pictures surfaced showing dead mice and live baby mice inside the classrooms.

CPS said it would use the five-day holiday break to bait and trap and thoroughly clean the school.

Third ward alderman Pat Dowell toured Mollison Monday morning with LSC members and a city health inspector and was stunned to find mouse droppings in multiple areas around the school, including a closet in the gym that had clearly not been cleaned and mouse droppings in the principal's office next to a chewed-through bag of rodent poison.

"That's unacceptable. When CPS had a break like this. Promised me, promised the parents they would clean up this school and failed,” Dowell said.

It was so bad, the city health inspector issued the school a failing grade, finding hundreds of mouse droppings in closets, washrooms, the library and in a kindergarten classroom.

It's the second time the school has failed an inspection in the last two months.

Because of that failed health inspection today, it means students at Mollison won't get any hot lunch until the school is able to pass.

"They want us to act as if this is our norm in our community and it's not. We don't live with rodents,” parent Yolanda Redman said.

In a message sent to Mollison parents via robocall Monday night, the district says: "The majority of issues cited today involved staff closets and storage areas that were locked and inaccessible during the deep cleaning, and we are working with staff to ensure these areas are cleaned and made accessible to the custodial team going forward."

"I would say CPS officials dropped the ball,” Dowell said.

CPS says it is also bringing in a new custodial team this week to help clean up the problem.