WHS Cockroach Killing: Ethical?


Jeremiah Malfer

This is the profile picture for the former Instagram page @whsexterminators. The page lasted from January 13th, 2022 through March 26th, 2022.

Jeremiah Malfer, Reporter

Woodbridge High School, being home to one of the largest cockroach populations in the state of New Jersey, is breeding grounds for the exterminators of the future. 

This school year has seen numerous parody Instagram pages related to WHS created such as “@whssnoozed” and “@whs.nj.memes”. While these pages were good in nature, one page, in particular, had a disturbing tone.

“@whsexterminators” was an Instagram page where people submit their photos or videos of roaches being exterminated by brutal and graphic means.

Students at other schools have taken notice of this and posted videos on TikTok calling out this page which gave Woodbridge High a reputation of being “ruthless barbarians”, as one Instagram comment put it.

Due to this pushback, the account was taken down, though, fan accounts reappeared archiving the page’s posts.

This controversy begs the question, should cockroaches be treated better?

WHS senior, Silvianio Sanchez, said, “Cockroaches have been here for about 280 million years, they all deserve a little bit more respect.” When asked where he got this information from, he said, “Snapchat”. 

In an effort to promote cockroach rights, senior Ashton Orellanos started the trending hashtag, #SaveTheWHSRoaches. When asked why he is pushing this movement, he said, “My parents taught me to respect people, even animals. That also includes the roaches.”

According to a study, 34.8% of WHS students believe that roaches should be treated like humans. Many teachers are opening their doors for roaches to seek shelter in their classrooms and surrounding schools in Central Jersey have also done the same.

New Jersey’s Statutes Title 4 states that it protects “Animal or Creature includes the whole brute creation.” But still, cockroaches are being harassed in Woodbridge High School daily. 

There is a petition online for people to sign that hopes to create tubes in the halls for roaches to safely travel through the school without being bothered by students.