The restrooms at Malliford (the setting of Chain Gang Elementary) were a bit of an issue because … well, have you ever been in a school restroom? If so, enough said. My kids were among the millsions who wouldn’t even go into their high school restrooms if they could avoid them. So this caught my eye.
Tom Baxter has written a piece in the latest Saporta Report about Tom Keating, a man with a mission: Improving school restrooms and restroom habits. The effort has taken up more than two decades off the veteran educator’s time. It’s not a popular cause among overworked and underfunded school administrators, but that hasn’t stopped Keating, who’s been known to show up at meetings wearing yellow 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.”
After hearing from a Dutch student that “School restrooms always suck,” Keating has expanded his vision. “I realized, this is worldwide. I don’t ever have to turn back. Half the planet has never read or written a single word, and half the planet has never pooped in a toilet.”
To that end, Keating has found an ally in Singaporean businessman Jack Sim, founder of the WTO–the World Toilet Organization. There’s also a World Toilet Summit.
So here’s to you, Mr. Keating. You really know your … restrooms.