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A dirty job

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GROSS

GROSS

GROSS

Shelby Kujala, Staff Writer

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Could you ever imagine the fear of millions of bacteria crawling all over your body? For people with mysophobia, the fear of germs, it’s a nightmare that causes them to take extra precautions; like refusing to use the bathrooms at school due to the lack of cleanliness. 

     Bathroom sanitation is slowly becoming a major dilemma and dispute for students and teachers at Englewood High School. As the year goes on, many students and even staff members have begun to mistreat the bathrooms. This includes leaving trash on the floor, not flushing the toilet, and misusing the items required for proper cleanup.

     One student who did not want to be identified said she was worried her grades would start to slip, “because it’s a distraction for those who would much rather hold in their bodily functions rather than use the bathrooms at the school.” 

     According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment rules and regulations governing schools in Colorado, “Disinfectants are to be used on surfaces that are commonly contaminated with high hazard body fluids, such as but not limited to restroom surfaces, toilets, diaper changing areas and surfaces that have been in contact with high hazard body fluids.” Places like bathrooms and areas where food is prepared are supposed to be disinfected on a regular basis. 

     It is not much of a stretch to say nearly every one of our students use the bathrooms at least once each day. Over the span of one school day a million or more pieces of bacteria and other organisms that can grow and multiply. Throughout the day, they collect and gather around the seats and walls of the restroom. Certain germs like e-coli, streptococcus (which is known for causing strep throat), and even influenza can be spread from person to person just by using the toilet. 

     The health department reports, on average there are about 50 bacteria per square inch on each toilet seat. This means there is anywhere around 21,600 bacteria covering everything within three-feet of the toilet. 

     Health officials say most places with high traffic restrooms such as restaurants have to clean their restrooms up to ten times a day just to keep up with sanitation. Yet the school only cleans the bathrooms once a day. According to the Head Janitor Edgar Avila, “We only can clean the bathrooms once a day due to being short staffed. We tend to start with the bathrooms, then hit the classes, and lastly clean the halls.”

     So what are possible solutions? Would student groups volunteer to clean the restrooms more often? Should teachers clean their own bathrooms so cleaning staff can spend their time on the student facilities? Give your opinion online at www.thepirateer.com

 

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A dirty job