Odor from decomposing rats prompts calls for Long Island school closure

DEER PARK, Long Island (WABC) -- Some students at a high school on Long Island are refusing to go to school because of a noxious odor apparently coming from the fumigation and decomposition of rats in the building.

The odor has even been making some students sick at Deer Park High School.

"It just smells like throw up and like something rot throughout the vents," student Umut Top said.

Top said his class was missing about seven students Thursday because they didn't want to come to school due to the odor.

The school principal said rodents were encountered in various areas of the high school, and that extermination procedures were completed while school was closed for spring recess during the week of April 22.

"Currently, we are dealing with an unpleasant odor that we believe is the result of our exterminator's efforts," principal Charlie Cobb said in a message to the school community.

Cobb said select exterior doors are being left open during the day to provide appropriate fresh air and ventilation to the affected areas. Security guards are standing at the open doors at all times.

"You can still smell it," Top said. "It doesn't really help."

Cobb said the school has also been in contact with the Suffolk County Department of Health to keep them apprised of the situation.

"As always, the safety and well being of our students and staff is our utmost priority," Cobb said.

Students have been signing an online petition asking administrators to shut down the school for the time being.

The petition has more than 1,800 signatures.

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