Newport-Mesa School District Appeals $20K in State Fines Over Rat Infestation, Other Problems

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Newport Harbor High School students and teachers demonstrate in 2018 to protest what they described as a rat infestation at the school’s Dodge Hall, where math and world language classes are held.(Credit: Daily Pilot via Los Angeles Times)

Newport Harbor High School students and teachers demonstrate in 2018 to protest what they described as a rat infestation at the school’s Dodge Hall, where math and world language classes are held.(Credit: Daily Pilot via Los Angeles Times)

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District has appealed about $20,000 in state fines for various workplace violations at three of its campuses, including plumbing and maintenance issues and a rodent infestation problem at one high school that was so bad it triggered a student walkout last year.

The fines are the result of three separate inspections by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health that were conducted in May, June and November 2018. The fines were initially levied last December, but the district is appealing.

District spokeswoman Annette Franco said Newport-Mesa declined to comment on the case because of the legal issues involved.

“We prioritize safety of our students and staff and continually evaluate and improve upon our practices,” she said.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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