RALEIGH (WTVD) --Visit a restaurant in North Carolina and you will see its health inspection grade posted in a prominent area. Like restaurants, schools also receive an annual inspection by their county health department.
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Inspectors look at a wide variety of items during a school's building inspection, including restrooms, classrooms and general cleanliness. School cafeterias are inspected separately and more frequently. The I-Team Troubleshooter went through the inspections for Wake County schools and found several schools with scores below 90. Even schools with scores in the 90s were cited for problems with rodents and roaches.
"Wow, I think that, I think that this can harm the kids." That was the reaction of Briarcliff Elementary parent Lloyda Nova when she read the report on her son's school.
The inspection report for fiscal year 2014-15 for Briarcliff Elementary indicates "mice found in cabinets." Nova said,"This is amazing, that you bring your kids to school and you think it's a safe place and they can have mice in the classroom."
Despite the mice, Briarcliff received a score of 93 out of 100. "It concerns me, but in fairness I think you would find rodents in a lot of facilities. So I think so long as it's something they're currently addressing and ongoing, I'm not overly concerned," said Briarcliff parent Justin Reif.
A similar problem at Douglas Elementary where an inspector in June 2014 reports seeing mice droppings in every classroom visited. Mouse droppings were also found in an April 2015 inspection at a charter school, Southern Wake Academy. Live roaches and rodent dropping were also a problem at North Garner Middle School in July 2015, and live roaches were also found at River Oaks Middle School, Davis Drive Middle School and Apex High.
Despite the problems with mice and roaches, all the schools mentioned above scored in the low to mid-90s out of a possible 100.
Wake County Public School System told ABC11, "staff from facilities respond within one week of the inspection report being published on the Wake County Environmental Services website."
The schools with the lowest scores were not cited for pest problems, but for broken equipment and cleanliness.
East Wake Middle School scored a 79, and was cited for water fountains not working, broken bathroom equipment and unclean storage closets. Similar problem with bathrooms and cleanliness resulted in East Millbrook Middle School getting an 83.5 score. It was also cited for having cleaning chemicals in reach of students. Cleanliness problems in bathrooms and storage areas were also a problem at West Cary Middle School which received an 84.
The school system says when equipment is found damaged or broken a work order request is initiated and necessary repairs and/or replacements are done. They add, "When a work order is issued, staff follow up to make sure the work is completed and that issues have been resolved."
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