’Disease-ridden’ school toilets making kids sick
A primary school has failed to provide soap in its toilets for most of the year, leaving its students so ill that one was even at risk of going blind in one eye, parents say.
Ben and Melissa Doolan, whose two children attend Aldinga Primary School, said gastro, the flu, conjunctivitis and other infections had "gone around and around" at the school over several months.
They blamed a lack of basic hygiene at the school. Another parent, former Governing Council chairwoman Jess Sweet, said the situation was so bad that students had refused to use the school's toilets. That led to some students having accidents or getting urinary tract infections, she said.
The Education Department rejected the claims and said all schools provided soap in their toilets.
However, the Doolans said Aldinga Primary School's toilet block was a 40-year-old health hazard and did not have soap. They and Ms Sweet want the State Government to upgrade the toilet block.
The Doolans' daughter Harper, 6, has battled a plethora of illnesses, including colds, infections, worms and conjunctivitis in recent months.
"It was a really bad strain (of conjunctivitis) and she was bleeding from the eye and it got that bad that she had to be put on strong eye drops," Mr Doolan said.
"If that didn't work, there was a strong possibility that she might lose her sight out of one eye."
Mr Doolan said the school even texted parents earlier this year asking them to bring in boxes of tissues because they had run out and could not afford more.
Ms Sweet, whose youngest child Amanda finished Year 7 this year, said a lack of soap at the school had been an "ongoing issue".
"The kids shouldn't be getting as sick as they are in the first place if the toilets were up to standard," she said.
Mawson MP Leon Bignell said numerous parents had raised concerns about the "run-down and disease-ridden" toilets. He said the former Labor government provided $5 million to the school in October 2017 and questioned why that money was yet to be used.
Education Department spokeswoman Ann Prime said soap and hand sanitiser had always been available at all schools.
She said the school would spend $5 million on capital works by the end of next year.