Substitute teacher claims she was let go after recording rat in classroom

Veronica Luther grabbed her cellphone and recorded a rat running around a classroom at Kennedy High School in Sacramento.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A substitute teacher claims she was taken off the job because she recorded video of a rat in a Sacramento high school and reported it to her superiors.

Veronica Luther said the Sacramento City Unified School District told them not to return to the school after bringing health concerns to the attention of administrators, reports CBS Sacramento.

“I heard this scratching noise, and I looked over my shoulder and there was a rat running down the wall,” she said.

This happened as she was setting up for her math class at John F. Kennedy High School. She decided to grab her cellphone and hit record.


A rat seen crawling up the wall of a Sacramento high school.

Veronica Luther

“I did have the forethought to video the rat climbing on student desks, the floor, the walls, the teacher desk, the workbooks, the shelves,” she said.

A custodian was brought in to set a trap, but Luther claims the school didn’t offer an alternative room to teach in, something she says potentially exposed students to germs and diseases.

“When I came back, the rat was back in there again. And I stepped in and the rat ran right at me,” she said. “I went back to the administration and told them that I couldn’t teach any more classes in there that day because it seemed unsafe for the students to be around a rat.”


  Maria Lopez of the Sacramento City Unified School District.

CBS Sacramento

But district spokeswoman Maria Lopez took issue with that account.

“We don’t see a rat infestation in our school,” she said, adding the district took swift action to address the problem. “The district sanitized the room twice. It did it Monday night and again, and by that, sanitized the floors, the carpeting, the furniture, took care of door knobs and the desks were cleaned, and hopefully, that will take care of the problem.”

While Luther admitted she’s skeptical whether the thorough cleaning was done, she believes she did the right thing. She said for that, she was told not to come back for the second day of her teaching assignment.

“They did say it would be because they would not be sanitizing that classroom in time for the next day’s classes. And that seemed inappropriate to me,” she said.

The district did not address Luther’s claims over her teaching assignment.