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Soapless School Bathrooms Could Make Your Kids Sick

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RALEIGH — Health officials say that it's a great way to stop the spread of disease -- wash your hands. But, that's tough to do if you don't have soap.

You expect to find soap and paper towels when you use a public restroom. But, a check of Wake County school inspection records shows that many schools are missing the handwashing essentials. It's a common problem, says Jim Hayes of the N.C. Environmental Health Department.

It seems some schools have a hard time keeping bathrooms stocked with soap and paper towels, thanks to a couple of factors -- high use and vandalism.

When a WRAL crew showed up unannounced at Athens Drive High School, they found the ladies bathroom to be in good shape. Principal Walt Sherlin says that there isn't much vandalism at Athens Drive.

But when county inspectors show up at other schools, the records show many are lacking bathroom basics.

If a bathroom is missing soap and towels, the school will get points deducted off of its total inspection score. But it's not a violation that will shut down a school.

And, it's not just a problem in Wake County. Many school systems that WRAL contacted Friday say that they have a problem keeping their restrooms stocked. It seems to be a bigger problem in middle schools, when kids tend to begin vandalizing things at school.Editor's Note: Friday was Betsy Sykes' last weekday at WRAL-TV5 News. She has contributed greatly to our organization, and she has been a pleasure with whom to work. We wish Betsy well as she moves on.


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