St. Croix Students Voice Concerns Over Poor Bathroom Facilities in Schools



In a recent meeting with the Senate Committee on Education and Workforce Development, students from St. Croix raised serious concerns about the state of their school bathrooms, affecting their daily school life. Alina Poyah, an eighth-grader from Central High School, voiced her distress over the unsanitary conditions, citing dysfunctional toilets and a lack of adequate cleaning staff. She admitted to avoiding the use of these facilities due to their dire state.

Makayla Walcott, another student from John H. Woodson, echoed similar sentiments. She pointed out the lack of basic amenities like paper towels and soap, along with the presence of offensive graffiti, making the environment uncomfortable and unhygienic. Both students highlighted the challenge of finding a usable bathroom on campus, a situation that has led to a boycott of these facilities.

Sophomore Ace Boyer from St. Croix Educational Complex expressed concerns about the suitability of the school as a hurricane shelter, given the poor condition of the washrooms. He detailed issues like broken urinals, lack of lighting, and insufficient sanitary supplies, leading him to avoid using the bathrooms altogether.

The committee chair, Senator Marise James, expressed shock and concern about the health implications of these conditions on students. Following inquiries from Senator Carla Joseph, education officials revealed plans for bathroom repairs at Central High School. However, Territorial Facilities Manager Davidson Charlemagne indicated that the project’s completion would not be immediate. The department’s Acting Insular Superintendent for St. Croix, Dr. Ericilda Ottley Herman, aimed for a 90-day completion target, but the timeline extended to May 2024.

Senator James emphasized the importance of maintenance, drawing comparisons to older historical buildings. Education Commissioner Dionne Wells-Hedrington addressed the issue in a separate discussion, committing to distribute supplies and restore restroom functionality. She also urged students to discourage vandalism to ensure the longevity of the repairs.

This testimony sheds light on a critical issue affecting the learning environment in St. Croix schools, highlighting the need for prompt and effective action to ensure safe and sanitary conditions for students.

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