Can I lock the school bathrooms?

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It never fails, there is always some Principal or Janitor that wants to lock up the bathrooms because a few kids smoke cigarettes or do something else that is undesirable.  While it is great to prevent such ill behavior, it is unreasonable to think that kids can’t use the bathroom for legitimate purposes . The legislature of California feels the same way, see California Education Code Section 35292.5.  Be mindful of the time that students are in classes or not in classes, as this is the element by which bathrooms may or may not be closed.

California Education Code
35292.5.  (a) Every public and private school maintaining any
combination of classes from kindergarten to grade 12, inclusive, shall comply with all of the following:
(1) Every restroom shall at all times be maintained and cleaned
regularly, fully operational and stocked at all times with toilet
paper, soap, and paper towels or functional hand dryers.
(2) The school shall keep all restrooms open during school hours when pupils are not in classes, and shall keep a sufficient number of restrooms open during school hours when pupils are in classes.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a school may temporarily
close any restroom as necessary for pupil safety or as necessary to repair the facility.
(c) Any school district that operates a public school that is in
violation of this section as determined by the State Allocation
Board, is ineligible for state deferred maintenance fund matching apportionments pursuant to Section 17584 if the school district has not corrected the violation within 30 days after receipt of a written notice of the violation from the board.  Prior to determining that the school district is ineligible, the board shall provide the school district with a reasonable opportunity to cure the violation.  The
board shall notify the Superintendent of Public Instruction regarding a school district found to be in violation of this section.  The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall notify the Controller to withhold apportionments otherwise due the school district under Section 17584.

Interesting fact.  According to NPR Radio show in LA  on 5-7-09 at 7:42am by Carrie Kahn  on the topic of Swine Flu, there are 30,000 schools in Mexico that do not have bathrooms or running water.

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