Schools are often faced with budgetary constraints that prohibit classrooms from having adequate supplies, but one Florida elementary school found themselves cutting back on a basic necessity: toilet paper.
Parents of one Florida school were understandably outraged to find out that their children faced toilet paper rationing. Parents alerted Action News Jax to the situation at Carter G. Woodson Elementary School in Jacksonville, where they refused to put toilet paper in the bathroom stalls.
Teachers would give students wads of toilet paper when they had to use the restrooms, in an effort to conserve supplies, a practice that parents were not happy about.
Once the news story aired, Duval County Public Schools spokesperson Laureen Ricks called the newsroom to inform them that the toilet paper was back in stalls once again.
While parents found the situation wholly unacceptable, as well as embarrassing to have to ask a teacher for toilet paper, mother Shantia Peterson also worried about whether it was sanitary.
She remarked, “You can’t just have it going from hand to hand.” As a result of the ration policy, Peterson had sent her 4th-grade daughter to school with a toilet paper roll in a Ziploc bag.
Peterson noted, “I did speak with the teacher about it as well. And I asked, I said, ‘What about if they run out?’ She said, ‘Well, we have a student in the bathroom that can give them extra.’ A student? A student!”
Spokesperson Ricks said in a statement: “The practice of not keeping toilet paper in school restrooms – as a result of misuse or waste – is not encouraged by the district. We will continue to communicate this to our schools to ensure consistency district-wide. We invite parents to contact their school or the district if they have any concerns about this practice taking place in their child’s classroom or school so that we can immediately address.”
The statement further noted: “We also ask parents to partner with us in talking to students about appropriate bathroom etiquette and the importance of respecting school supplies and resources.”
Peterson explained that she moved her daughter to a new school, saying, “I told her, I said, ‘Your new school, they’re going to have toilet paper in the bathrooms.’ My daughter got excited. She said, ‘What, are you serious? They’re going to have toilet paper in the bathroom?’”
Those commenting on the WFTV Channel 9 Facebook post about the story weighed in with their thoughts, including some theories about why the school adopted this rationing rule, with one noting: “I’m sure it’s because students were throwing it, making messes & stopping up toilets. I’d have a sign-in/sign-out & catch the culprit.”
Another person added: “It had nothing to do with cost and everything to do with behavior, with a school in which I once worked at in Savannah. All the kids suffered on behalf of those that can’t be trusted to behave appropriately in a public bathroom. This is a shameful practice.”
One person commented: “wtf is wrong with those people. We all need tp for crying out loud. How would they like it if they had to wait for someone to pass a wad to them? Idiots.”