On the link – seriously – between student performance and school bathrooms

Over at Saporta Report, my former colleague Tom Baxter has this excellent column about a mutual state Capitol friend, Tom Keating, who has drawn a link between student performance and hostile school bathrooms:

“It is the most basic educational work that I’ve done, including being called the Dropout Doctor, including lobbying, including getting world languages into the Decatur school system,” he said. “Health, education and citizenship – all of that is tied up in poop.”

…A key element in this particular scheme for making the world a better place is, obviously, getting people to discuss something they seldom talk about directly. He has a variety of strategies for bringing the subject out in the open, including showing up at meetings in yellow rubber janitor’s gloves.

“Out of every 10 middle school and high school kids, four of those 10 avoid the use of the restroom every day,” Keating said. “Nobody has ever told me about the health costs of that statistic, because nobody wants to talk about it. So I talk about it.”

Go read it.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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35 comments Add your comment

North resident

July 23rd, 2012
3:46 pm

Not sure what the point of this was but “FIRST” and , yeah, I avoided taking a dump in middle/high school bathrooms. They had no doors on the stalls, they are full of bullies, they are filthy. You take your life, and your self esteem, in your hands to take a dump on a filthy toilet in front of half the school. If I absolutely had to go, I would wait till the start of class and quietly/modestly excuse myself.

never suprised

July 23rd, 2012
3:55 pm

Geez, really? My suburban middle and high schools were extrmely safe and clean. Nobody poops at school! It’s just a lack of maturity and embarrasment. Good grief!

unbiased committee

July 23rd, 2012
3:56 pm

….. meanwhile Nathan Deal is still having ethics violations.

teachAManToFish

July 23rd, 2012
3:57 pm

North resident said it all. No need for a multi-million dollar research grant.

Marlboro Man

July 23rd, 2012
4:06 pm

If someone is paid to clean restrooms, they should be clean.

Parents have a job to teach their kids what to do about bathroom needs.

Jack

July 23rd, 2012
4:10 pm

If needing a door on your stall is a problem now, just wait ’til some real problems come along.

usually lurking

July 23rd, 2012
4:10 pm

I totally get this. At the HS I attended my freshman year, the bathrooms were self-segregated by race. I didn’t know that, almost got beat up my first day of school (as a mid-semester transfer student) because I went into the wrong bathroom. No TP in any of the bathrooms either – ever!

Dunwoody

July 23rd, 2012
4:12 pm

I NEVER used the bathroom in Middle School, my school removed the bathroom stalls to cut down on trouble only to install privacy walls like those found between urinals. How is anyone comfortable going in an environment like that. I would also note that most school systems only allow students to use X amount of bathroom breaks per semester. In High School we were limited to 3 breaks, per class, per semester. In that case you were afraid to use your pass unless you really had to go.

There’s no good way around the bathroom issue, teachers and fellow students know who’s going to create problems but you can’t discriminate. You also can’t have supervision in the bathrooms because that creates issues. I do however know for a fact that there were plenty of times where all I could think about was running home after school and using our bathroom… when I should have concentrated on my last period class.

Dunwoody

July 23rd, 2012
4:13 pm

Jack, you’re such a man, I’m sure you were the one student in middle school with a hairy chest and 6 inch biceps to boot.

Kris (Whipple)

July 23rd, 2012
4:17 pm

“Please don’t squeeze the Charmin!”

Vote NO tsp-LOST.

Tea Party Hobbit

July 23rd, 2012
4:18 pm

sneak in and use the faculty lounge restroom during class!

Ken Mi No Du Hir

July 23rd, 2012
4:23 pm

Sad to hear that you all went to such sorry-ass schools with no stall doors, no toilet paper, and resident bullies. My schools were nothing like that.

Newtewt.

July 23rd, 2012
4:33 pm

Hope noone puts Ex-Lax into the school brownies!

Shark Punch!

July 23rd, 2012
4:37 pm

What is so “excellent” about Tom Baxter’s column? The fact that, unlike many bloggers here at the AJC, he did more than just write a few original sentences and link to someone else’s work?

unbiased committee

July 23rd, 2012
4:38 pm

Improve the school restrooms and vote no to the transportation tax.

Auntie Christ

July 23rd, 2012
5:20 pm

Does this answer the question so earnestly posed by bush, “is our children learning?” And was this the reason for his proudest achievement: No child left behind (bathroom stall doors)? But no, bush was too busy putting the country into the toilet, he couldn’t concern himself with what high schoolers put in the toilet.

Hagatha

July 23rd, 2012
5:23 pm

At our middle school, some of the kids just piss and poop on the floor! And yes, we have stalls with doors.

Lee

July 23rd, 2012
5:26 pm

Just another invasion of privacy, as Americans we should be getting used to it!

Jenzen

July 23rd, 2012
6:02 pm

@Dunwoody (4:13 PM) – Whew, reading your entry almost gave me a heart attack as I read it quite quickly. Had to go back over and make sure you typed in “biceps” and not…

marsh

July 23rd, 2012
6:13 pm

What a shame. A good bm is one of the great joys of life.

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 23rd, 2012
6:20 pm

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marsh

July 23rd, 2012
6:23 pm

Maybe that’s why the kid’s are so eager to get off the bus.

Dekalb County Taxpayers are SHEEP

July 23rd, 2012
6:32 pm

Armed policemen are needed full time in our schools bathroom..at least 2, one to keep an eye on the other. Now in addition to providing a safe facility, the officers should be authorized to use batons and mace on students who do not flush, stuff toilet paper down commodes, pee on floor, back talk, etc.

Ok, this was tongue in cheek but until the libs visit the bathrooms, then they’ll never realize how dangerous many of our schools are. And of course, schools cannot afford full-time monitoring of bathrooms nor authorize the use of force to deal with recalcitrant students. This is another example of schools taking on a mandate they are fully incapable of fulfilling. The only solution, which the almighty arrogant libs will one day realize particularly if they are required to spend some time in these bathrooms and use the facilities, is a voucher system. Until schools regain the authority to kick out the trouble makers, then they will not have a solution for any of a schools ills regardless of how many teachers, security cameras they install, or anything other measure they take. Kicking kids out will place the pressure back on the parents to parent or to get help for their conduct disordered kids. Oh, ok, let’s not do that. Let’s bus all the kids who are unwilling to use the bathrooms in their schools to neighborhood schools with clean and safe bathrooms. Liberals are idiots.

JT

July 23rd, 2012
7:28 pm

All we did was smoke pot in the stalls at Sandy Springs High School in the early seventies. Teachers didn’t know the smell then!!!!

Big Mama

July 23rd, 2012
8:23 pm

This is nothing new. We didn’t have doors on our stalls OR toilet paper in the bathrooms of our middle school or high school in the rural north GA county where I grew up. And this was in the 80s. The reason, we were told, was that students had broken the doors. I also remember having to hold my breath when walking anywhere near the boy’s bathroom…. it was disgusting.

ga teacher

July 23rd, 2012
8:56 pm

@Dekalb County Taxpayers are SHEEP – be careful what you ask for. The two times that I experienced the TRUE mess is the bathroom – take a dump and smear it all over the stall – it was by “privileged” students who felt like it was the janitor’s “job” the clean up the bathroom. When those students were suspended, their parents quickly took them to private school. This was 5 – 6 years ago, and they graduated from a very “prestigious” private school. I really don’t think that they came from families that were considered “liberal.”

Whirled Peas

July 24th, 2012
8:15 am

Georgia Power knows which side of the bread its butter is spread. It finances stuff the politicians want (TSPLOST) and the politicians grant it rate increases. It is part of a giant money laundering scheme and is a form of graft as insidious as any any thing anywhere.

Cox Enterprises is a huge contributor to T-SPLOST. Jim Galloway is not going to bite the hand that feeds him.

Georgiavet

July 24th, 2012
8:16 am

This is not new. 30 years ago I told my daughter to go down the street to our church, regardless of instructions from the school, when she needed to use a bathroom and the school’s was full of smoke or “pot” users.

Whirled Peas

July 24th, 2012
8:20 am

Good-bye AT&T, hello Verison.
Good-bye Coke, hello Pepsi.

Those who would spend their money to grant the government the right to pick the money from my pocket, are not my friends. T-SPLOST is my enemy and so are these businesses. They need to be known for the enemies of the people they are. Let’s hold these businesses accountable for this travesty. Power to the people.

Whirled Peas

July 24th, 2012
8:22 am

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National Association of Realtors Primary 2012 $185,000.0
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Delta Air Lines, Inc. Primary 2012 $150,000.0
The Home Depot USA, Inc. Primary 2012 $150,000.0
Yancey Bros. Co. Primary 2012 $125,000.0
Yancey Bros. Co. Primary 2012 $125,000.0
ATandT Primary 2012 $100,000.0
Cox Enterprises, Inc. Primary 2012 $100,000.0
Georgia Highway Contractors Assn Inc. Primary 2012 $100,000.0
Newell Rubbermaid Primary 2012 $100,000.0
Post Apartment Homes Primary 2012 $100,000.0
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Cousins Properties Incorporated Primary 2012 $75,000.0
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Georgia Highway Contractors Assn Inc. Primary 2012 $75,000.0
Jamestown Primary 2012 $75,000.0
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The Coca-Cola Company Primary 2012 $62,500.0
The Coca-Cola Company Primary 2012 $62,500.0
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C. W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc. Primary 2012 $50,000.0
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C. W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc. Primary 2012 $50,000.0
C. W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc. Primary 2012 $50,000.0
Carlyle Fraser Empl. Benefit Fund Primary 2012 $50,000.0
Carlyle Fraser Empl. Benefit Fund Primary 2012 $50,000.0
Caterpillar Primary 2012 $50,000.0
GE Power Systems Primary 2012 $50,000.0
ICE Primary 2012 $50,000.0
ICE Primary 2012 $50,000.0
Invesco Primary 2012 $50,000.0
Jackson Healthcare, LLC Primary 2012 $50,000.0
PB Americas, Inc. Primary 2012 $50,000.0
RockTenn Primary 2012 $50,000.0
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Siemens Primary 2012 $50,000.0
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MARTA Rida

July 24th, 2012
8:27 am

I bet those that wouldn’t use the bathroom without doors, didn’t take showers after gym class too? What a silly thing to do, tell your kids to hold or leave school to use the bathroom. Its called tolerance, we need to teach it to our kids.

Rafe Hollister

July 24th, 2012
8:30 am

CW Matthews, whoda thunk it?

Rafe Hollister

July 24th, 2012
8:32 am

Sounds like a line up of Porta Johns would be more efficient and effective, than spending millions on bathrooms.

Chaos

July 24th, 2012
8:36 am

Why are so many against a little privacy and protection in the bathroom or locker room for our children? I bet Penn State didn’t have doors on the stalls or curtains on the showers either. Just saying…