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Flying Termites Shut Down School

April 22, 2005 – A swarm of flying termites disrupted classes at the Charlotte Amalie High School Friday – the second day in a row.
On Thursday, students of several classes were forced into the auditorium after an attack of the insects, but on Friday the insects returned in mass numbers, which resulted in the early dismissal of classes.
The Education Department sent out an "urgent" release notifying parents classes would end at noon due to the "unusual problem" of flying termites in the Sugar Estate area where the school is located.
"It's really bad because there were some areas where they covered walkways and walls," CAHS Principal Jeanette Smith-Barry said. "One wall by the JROTC [Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps] building was literally covered by the termites. It was brown. It was bad."
Smith-Barry said students and teachers were sent home so that Oliver Exterminating could come and spray the campus to get rid of the termites. The company had begun spraying the school Thursday, but Smith-Barry said she was told that the exterminating process has to be done over several days to effectively rid the school of the pests. The exterminating team will work through the weekend, she said.
The hours of classes missed Friday will not have to be made up by students, Smith-Barry said.
Although flying termites are "perfectly harmless in every way," according to United Exterminating Company, an extermination company in New Jersey, they can prove to be a nuisance getting on individual's hair and clothing and falling in food and other items.
"I'm hoping that the situation will be corrected so that we can resume classes by Monday," Smith-Barry said. "We just need to make sure that the entire campus gets exterminated."
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