The kitchen at Plant City High School is shut down after someone claimed to see rat droppings

PLANT CITY, Fla. - A school cafeteria is shut down after someone claimed they spotted rat droppings in the kitchen.  For the rest of the week, students at Plant City High School will have to eat boxed lunches sent in from another school or bring their own lunch while school officials try and take care of the problem.

Makayla Garrent is a freshman at Plant City High School. She enjoys going to school, but right now she's a little nervous.

"People were talking about how someone went to get something out of the vending machine or something and they saw the rat eating the food out of one of the bags. I think it's gross," said Garrett.

The principal, Colleen Garrett didn't want to talk on camera, but sent a phone message to all parents. It said in part, "During the coming week we are going to bring in lunches from a nearby school because we are temporarily closing our cafeteria kitchen for pest control treatment."

School officials said children are not at risk and this has not been an issue in the past at Plant City High School.

Schools spokesman Steve Hegarty said, "Like any home or business the school district occasionally has pest control issues. When that happens we take care of it."

Makayla's mother Susie Garrett  is still concerned.  "I think it is a big deal, because they are responsible for the kids at school and the safety of the kids."

Susie Garrett actually works in a kitchen in a district elementary school and wonders how this could happen.

"Like Makayla, I think it is gross and disgusting.  They should not have rodents running around the schools. Especially in the kitchen where there is food," said Garrett.

Officials stress this is not something to be overly concerned with. They have set traps and say they do not recall shutting down the kitchen in recent years.  In the meantime. Garret is warning Makalya and her friends to be extra careful.

"Yes, because they could be carrying diseases and a lot of stuff can happen," said Garrett.

Makayla plans on bringing her own lunch and watching her step.

"It makes me kind of nervous walking around.," Makayla said.

School officials have taken bigger steps in the past and have tented schools. But it typically happens when there is a break. Officials said in this case they had to take action immediately.

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