SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Health Officer John Festa has finished his inspection of the South Orange school bathrooms, according to an update on the South Orange website.

The South Orange website states, "in response to recent events surrounding the school district's bathroom conditions, Health Officer John Festa inspected the bathrooms of the South Orange schools."

The full inspection report from the South Orange Department of Health is available here, and includes inspections for all schools in South Orange: South Orange Middle School (SOMS), South Mountain Elementary, South Mountain Annex, Marshall Elementary and Montrose Early Learning Center.

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According to the report, the inspections found "no hygiene issues or odors detected, and "paper and soap dispensers were filled with supplies and working."

Issues outlined in the report included: some missing ceiling tiles and light covers, some facets not functioning, evidence of vandalism, which included scratching-off of paint and wall damage. Vandalism was primarily noted at the middle school, stated Festa.

Specific issues outlined in the report were as follows:


  • 22 specific issues needing repair were cited, including a missing toilet seat and leaking facets.
  • 2 incidents of "visible damage to stall walls," which were attributed to vandalism.
  • In one girls bathroom it was noted that "ceiling tiles damaged by throwing wet papers onto ceiling."


  • 6 issues cited, including one damaged ceiling tile.


  • 3 issues cited: 2 lights out and 1 sink without hot water.


  • 7 issues cited.
  • 1 boys bathroom has work in progress, which is noted as "painting walls and ceiling."


  • No issues found except for one small crack on the wall of the ground floor student bathroom.

The Maplewood Health Department inspected 41 lavatories at Columbia High School on Nov. 9, finding them to be "well-maintained" overall, but that there were multiple repairs that needed to be made, with the report citing 21 specific issues. The report also highlighted some other areas of concern, including vandalism and that "students smoke in certain bathrooms." Graffiti was reported in two bathrooms.

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