Law Office of Michelle Ball Ed 30000s,health & safety,School management/personnel Disgusting School Bathrooms? Complain To The School Principal

Disgusting School Bathrooms? Complain To The School Principal

Gross bathroom with graffitti

Last Updated on August 17, 2023 by Michelle Ball

By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer 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 student bathrooms may therefore be a big mystery!  

Questions About Student Bathrooms

Do you know if the school bathrooms have adequate toilet paper, soap and supplies?  Do students have working soap dispensers?  Are the toilets working, leaking, or barred from use?  

Parents should ask their kids just what the condition of their school bathrooms is, so any filth issues can be addressed and students can go to the bathroom in a clean environment.

School bathroom with no toilet paper is a problem
Students should have adequate supplies and relatively clean bathrooms in school

Bathrooms in Schools Have Minimum Cleanliness Requirements

Per California 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.

The California Department of Education (CDE) also lists out minimum items required in public school bathrooms, depending on gender, type and size of school.

Starting the Gross Bathroom Complaint Process

If issues exist in student bathrooms, a parent may file a complaint with the Principal.

school bathrooms need to be clean
Disgusting bathrooms are no joke- and can be
unsanitary and spread disease in schools

What Is Enough to Formally Complain?

Just what might warrant a complaint?  Here are some examples, taken from a form previously in existence at the Office of Public School Construction, but which we can use as illustrating potential issues:

–  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 in a school, a complaint can be filed to try to get the student’s bathroom situation can addressed.  

Students school bathrooms should be decent
Students have more important things to worry about than the school bathrooms

Timelines for Complaints and Responses

According to the California Department of Education, if a Williams Act complaint is filed, the following timeline should be followed:

If the Principal needs help with the parent’s complaint, they must send it to the school district within 10 working days of receipt.

Solutions to the bathroom problems should be completed within 30 working days.

The Principal’s responses to the initial school bathroom complaint should be sent to the parent within 45 working days.

Appeals Filed with State

If a parent is not satisfied the disgusting school bathroom issues are resolved, they may appeal the findings to:

California Department of Education
School Facilities and Transportation Services Division
Attention: Juan Mireles, Director
1430 N Street, Suite 1201
Sacramento, CA 95814

Ask Students About the Bathrooms

With the worsening condition of our schools and their facilities over the years, and the inability of parents to go into student bathrooms to inspect, it is certain that many bathroom fixes are needed.  

Ask students how their bathrooms are and what their condition is? Bathrooms should be the least of their worries when they are running to a math test.

[originally published August 26, 2014]

Students rights lawyer Michelle Ball assists parents with remedying problems in schools. As an expulsion, suspension and all around student attorney in Sacramento, California, Michelle Ball may get involved throughout the state in locations such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Roseville, Lodi, Paradise, Clovis, Palm Springs, and many other towns.