A dead rat was found in the ceiling of a classroom in the Massey wing at New Westminster Secondary School today.
The rat was found because of the stench it gave off, said Wendy Harris, whose son had a morning class in the room the rodent carcass was found.
Harris said she learned about the incident after she received a call from the media. She called the high school and a staff member confirmed the incident.
"They found a dead rat in the ceiling, room 138," Harris told The Record. "It's disgusting. They're rodents, which carry all sorts of bad things, and their droppings ... they also chew through stuff."
Harris believes the rat was discovered around noon. She was told that students were moved to another classroom for the afternoon.
Her son was in the same classroom that morning, though he told her he didn't smell anything strange.
"He has a cold," Harris said, adding that her son also has serious health problems and she is concerned about the impact a rat infestation could have on him. "I'm worried about his health and well being there, and the staff moral too. They're working in a rat-infested place."
Harris recently wrote a letter to the province outlining her concerns about the soil conditions at the high school. She also noted the rat problem in her letter.
Harris said she has seen rats almost every time she has walked by the high school at night, and she believes the rat issues are extensive.
"This kind of just confirms everything, I mean I've seen so many rats around the building already, running into the corners and this is just the confirmation that there absolutely are rats here," she said. "When you find one decomposing rat you know there's more."
In 2007, Fraser Health inspected the high school and found evidence of rodents at that time.
Board of education chair James Janzen said he hadn't heard about the incident when The Record contacted him for comment this afternoon.