Tag Archives: Washrooms

Students demand better washroom facilities at their school

Grade 5 students at one Ontario school are demanding action to ensure better washroom facilities at their school. See the letter below, which they sent to their Principal.

Dear Principal XXX,

The students of room YYY would like to present a very urgent problem to you. The student washrooms in our school are a disaster. It is absolutely necessary to resolve this issue because the health, safety and dignity of pupils are paramount.

Firstly, the state of the washrooms is not good for the health of students. There is often no soap in the dispensers; therefore the children do not wash the hands. In addition, the toilets are frequently blocked and smell absolutely disgusting.

Secondly, students need to feel safe in their environment in order to be comfortable. If there are no locks on the doors, students will not want to use the washrooms here and feel that school is dangerous. You must install working locks for the good of the school.

Lastly, the dignity of pupils is at risk when the toilets are not clean. The walls in all the washrooms are covered in bad words, mean comments, and excrement. It is below the dignity of students to use washrooms in this condition.

In conclusion, all the student washrooms at our school must be renovated immediately! The health, safety, and dignity of students are in your hands, as our Principal. Please stand up for us. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Ideas as to what we can do as students to solve this problem:

– We can have student monitors for the washrooms who let the administration/caretakers know when there is a problem in the washrooms.

– We can put up laminated signs of washroom rules to help remind students on how to behave in the washrooms.

– We can be watchful and make sure other students follow the bathroom rules and let adult know when there are problems.

– We can fundraise money to improve the washrooms with bake sales.


The grade 5 class in room YYY

The Principal at this school was receptive to working with students to find solutions that could be implemented and was happy to receive this detailed feedback. The next step was for the students to conduct an audit on every washroom in the school and make detailed recommendations based on their findings.

Fix Our Schools is working with this group of students and their teacher to ensure that their message is escalated beyond their school, to the provincial government, which is the body that has power over the funding that could truly influence the state of washrooms in Ontario schools.

Would you go to the washroom if it looked like this?

Fix Our Schools often hears from both parents and students about how disgusting the washrooms can be at TDSB schools. Some parents say their children actually refuse to go to the washroom while at school. Looking at these photos, one can understand why!  Would you go to the washroom if it looked like this?
2015_06_16_WT Washroom mold dirt

Despite excellent efforts by caretakers to keep these washrooms clean and useable, with the current funding allocations by the provincial government, the photos you see here are the end result.

Consider a 100-year old school that is also overcapacity by 200 students (there are 146 TDSB schools that are overcapacity). No extra funds are allocated for caretakers at that school to deal with the extra mess created by those 200 extra students. No additional funds are provided to account for the fact that old buildings are harder to clean than new ones (the 2015_06_16_WT Washroom Sinkcaretakers at Runnymede P.S. painstakingly polish the 99-year old linoleum floors and, although we know they are the cleaner for their efforts, the floors really don’t look much different than they did before!)  So this blog post is certainly not intended to point fingers at caretakers who work hard and take pride in the important role they play in our children’s schools.

This blog post is meant to highlight the fact that these washrooms are, indeed, disgusting and surely to goodness our children deserve to have washrooms in their place of learning that are well-maintained, clean and USEABLE!

The work that would need to be done to bring these washrooms to a USEABLE state is not 2015_06_16_WT_Washroom mold dirt cornerincluded in the TDSB’s $3.3-billion repair backlog we hear about all the time. The shocking $3.3-billion repair backlog only includes really serious work to be done on our children’s schools – such as fixing leaking roofs, replacing broken boilers and addressing structural concerns. So unless Kathleen Wynne’s provincial government works with school boards to find new funding solutions for public schools, many washrooms will continue to be disgusting.