school restroom

Students perceptions of school restrooms: survey

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

As a new school year begins, the Healthy Hand Washing Survey from Bradley Corporation., revealed unclean school restrooms cause students to have a negative perception of their institution and its leaders.

According to the press release, 68 per cent of students said school restrooms that are poorly maintained or unclean show the school doesn’t care about its students, reflects poor school management and lowers their overall opinion of the school. In fact, nearly half of students describe the condition of their school restrooms as poor or fair.

“The negative impact of poorly maintained school restrooms is clearly significant and spreads beyond the bathroom doors to the entire school,” says Jon Dommisse, director of strategy and corporate development for Bradley Corp in a press release. “Female students are even more inclined to be negatively influenced by run-down school restrooms.”

Other highlights from the survey include:

  • The state of a school restroom likely factors into a student’s decision on whether or not to visit the restroom. While most (81%) use their school restroom on a daily basis, 19 per cent claim to never frequent it. They avoid the facilities in part because they’re dirty, smelly or have broken or old toilets, sinks and doors.
  • Students number one suggestion for school restroom improvements is more privacy including taller stall doors and eliminating gaps between the stall panels. Their second wish is for cleaner facilities followed by more air fresheners.
  • If students do encounter an unclean or unpleasant restroom, they usually skip their trip. More than half say they leave without using the restroom and 39 per cent try to avoid using that restroom in the future. Only 20 per cent take action to address the situation by notifying a teacher or school management.
  • Only 60 per cent of students said they always wash their hands before leaving the school restroom. Their reasons for not washing include: no soap or paper towels; not enough time between classes; and the sinks weren’t working or were unclean.
  • 57 per cent of students said they’d be more likely to wash if there was a sign in the restroom reminding them to.

The Healthy Hand Washing Survey was conducted online Jan. 3-8, 2019 and queried 630 American students enrolled in 9th – 12th grade.

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