Clean, well-maintained restrooms play a bigger role in a student’s perception of a school as a whole than one may think.
According to Bradley Corporation’s new Healthy Hand Washing Survey of 9th to 12th graders, 68% of students say 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. 19% of the students surveyed say they never frequent school bathrooms, in part because they are dirty, smelly, or have broken or old toilets, sinks, and doors.
Students’ top request for how to improve the restrooms is more privacy; they want taller stall doors and to eliminate gaps between stall panels. Their second request is for cleaner facilities, with more air fresheners as the third request. Foul odors tops the list of what bothers them most about school restrooms. When confronted with a dirty bathroom, over half of the students say they leave without using it, and 39% say they try to avoid using that bathroom in the future.
The top reasons students skipped washing their hands after using the bathroom are: no soap or paper towels, the sinks are dirty or don’t work, not enough time, and they just didn’t feel like it. While most school’s don’t post hand washing reminders in their bathrooms (only 34% of schools say they do), 57% of students say they’d be more likely to wash if there was a sign.