Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - December 14, 2007

Let our students wash their hands

As we have been hearing so much recently about a serious and highly contagious staph infection called MRSA that has now spread to local schools, I feel the need to bring to the attention of our schools the concerns of some local students. This is not to accuse any one school, but merely to bring to the attention of every school the need for close attention to these issues and any others that may be a risk to our children's health. It has been said by some local students that:

(1) Students are not allowed to go to the restroom between assigned restroom break times set by the school. If a student has to go to the restroom between assigned restroom breaks he/she will "lose cooperation points."

Any physician will confirm that it is not healthy for anyone to wait for long periods to go to the restroom.

(2) Students do not wash or sanitize their hands before eating their lunch meal, as their set restroom break is after lunch.

This is a potential health hazard because contagious illnesses can be spread by germs on hands, and many lunch items in our schools are eaten by hand.

(3) Soap has been removed from some, if not all, restrooms because of the "mess" that some students were making with it. In some cases, students may only rinse their hands off after lunch because soap has been removed from the restrooms. I would think that there should be an alternative approach to handling this problem other than removing the soap from the restrooms.

All students could use hand sanitizers under the supervision of their teachers, if necessary. I am sure that parents would be more than happy to supply hand sanitizer rather than allowing the spread of contagious illnesses, such as the highly publicized MRSA, in our schools.

I am sure that school staff and every caring parent will agree that cleanliness, good hygiene and precautions against the spread of germs that cause illness and absences must be an issue of utmost importance in our schools and at home.

Ann Hutchinson

Rock Hill