Law and Rights
Disgusting School Bathrooms? Missing Toilet Paper Or Soap? Contact The Office Of Public School Construction
By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995
Have you ever walked into the school bathrooms your children use at school? As often schools have separate staff/adult and student bathrooms (a wise choice), probably not. The condition of your kids' bathrooms may therefore be a big mystery! Do you know if the school bathrooms have adequate toilet paper, soap and supplies? Is there even a working soap dispenser? Are the toilets working, leaking, or barred from use? Parents may want to ask their kids just what the condition of the school bathrooms is, so any issues can be addressed and Junior can go to the bathroom in a clean environment.
Per Education Code §35292.5:
(a) Every public and private school maintaining any combination of classes from kindergarten to grade 12, inclusive, shall comply with all of the following: (1) Every restroom shall at all times be maintained and cleaned regularly, fully operational and stocked at all times with toilet paper, soap, and paper towels or functional hand dryers. (2) The school shall keep all restrooms open during school hours when pupils are not in classes, and shall keep a sufficient number of restrooms open during school hours when pupils are in classes. (b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a school may temporarily close any restroom as necessary for pupil safety or as necessary to repair the facility.
If issues exist, a parent may file a complaint with the Office of Public School Construction- see the form here.
Just what might warrant a complaint? Here are some examples, taken from the form:
- Toilet damaged or missing- Toilet leaking or clogged - Bathroom sink damaged or missing- Clogged floor drains or sink drains- Faucet/pipes damaged or missing- Electric hand dryer damaged or missing- Stall doors or locks missing or inoperable- Toilet paper/paper towel dispensers missing or inoperable- Soap dispensers consistently empty, missing or inoperable- Paper towels or toilet paper consistently missing or unusable- Floors, walls, or ceilings consistently unclean- Trash not emptied consistently- Toilets/urinals consistently unclean/unusable- Restroom closed for extended period- Other bathroom issues
If any of the above issues exist, a complaint should be lodged so the situation can be addressed. With the worsening condition of our school grounds lately, I am sure some bathroom fixes are needed. Don't let your kids have problems in their bathrooms, which should be the least of their worries when they are running to a math test.Best,Michelle Ball
Education Law Attorney
LAW OFFICE OF MICHELLE BALL
717 K Street, Suite 228
Sacramento, CA 95814
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Law and Rights