Addressing the politically hot issue of dirty school restrooms, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday promised to devise better ways to keep the public informed about campus conditions.
The board told district Supt. Roy Romer to report semiannually on health and safety conditions in restrooms and cafeterias, including corrective actions taken; to involve parent volunteers in restroom and cafeteria inspections; and to keep local elected officials informed of the district's efforts.
The board also directed Romer to make it easier for parents to find the results of restroom and cafeteria inspections, which now are posted by school at www.lausd-oehs.org. (Complaints about restroom conditions can be lodged at www.la schools.org/rrhotline.)
"The more open we are about this, the better it is," said board member Marlene Canter, who introduced the measure. If district critics knew everything the district was doing to remedy the problems, they would "be very surprised and impressed," she said.
Filthy conditions in some of the district's 7,100 restrooms have angered students and parents and have dragged the district into a political imbroglio. City and county officials have denounced the district over its restrooms, and Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo has pushed for surprise city and county inspections.
That move angered Romer, who said the district had acted to clean campus bathrooms, spending $21 million last year on repairs and attendants. He said Delgadillo and others should have first offered to work with the district. City and district officials have been working on a restroom inspection plan.
Earlier at Tuesday's meeting, students from Locke, Fremont and Jordan high schools said they had noticed improvements in restrooms on their campuses. They said fellow students have helped keep the restrooms clean after seeing the improvements.