‘I’m Trying’: Mom of 5 Denies Neglect After ‘Hundreds of Bugs’ Crawled Out of Daughter’s School Bag

A Florida mother of five denies neglecting her children after her daughter reportedly wore the same soiled clothing to school for a week.

As CNN reports, Jessica Nicole Stevenson, 33, is facing charges after her second-grade daughter’s appearance concerned a school worker.


The employee reportedly contacted a school resource officer about the matter on April 18.

According to the deputy’s investigation report, the worker said that the girl did not know the last time she’d taken a shower or bath. Further, the girl’s clothing had dirt “caked into” it.

Specifically, one of the articles of clothing “had caked fecal matter and urine soaked into” it. Additionally, it is reported that the school had given the girl new sets of clothes a number of times.

However, the employee said the girl “eventually wears them over and over again.”

According to the report, the employee said there was a previous incident when “hundreds of bugs crawled out of (the girl’s) backpack in the lunchroom.”

That same worker reportedly alerted Florida’s Department of Children and Families about Stevenson family at the beginning of the school year. However, after the DCF visited the home, it “determined it did not meet their removal criteria.”

After speaking with the school worker, the deputy went to Stevenson’s home that night to investigate.


According to the investigation report:

The roaches were on nearly every surface in the home, to include on the children’s mattress, in the pots and pans in the kitchen, and inside the cabinets/fridge.

The deputy also reported that piles of cat feces were all over the floor. Additionally, the deputy noted that the cabinets did not have any food in them and that there were hardly any clean clothes.

Stevenson, whose children range from ages 5 to 14, told WEAR:

“We have roaches. And people will tell me all the time, everyone in Florida has roaches.”

Further, Stevenson said she is a single mom with little income. However, she denies ever neglecting or abusing her children.

Despite her claims, police arrested Stevenson on May 3.

Law enforcement charged her with five counts of neglect of a child without great bodily harm, which is a third-degree felony. If Stevenson is convicted on all counts, she could face up to 25 years in prison.

After Stevenson paid or promised to pay 10 percent of a $12,500 bond, police released her on May 4. She says the arrest has only made her situation that much harder.

She said:

“It’s just not easy when you’re one person and five kids. I want to do better, and I’m trying.”

As Stevenson awaits trial, a judge has removed her children from her care and ordered her not to contact them. Further, the judge has prohibited the mom from drinking alcohol.

According to the court clerk’s office, Stevenson’s arraignment is on May 30.