Frustrated parents are pleading with the State Government to fix toilets at a primary school at Logan, south of Brisbane, that do not flush properly and have been described as little better than a “truck stop”.
Desperate parents from Springwood Road State School (SRSS) have written two pleading letters to the Queensland Government in the past nine months to fix the substandard toilets.
P&C president Jenny Pheeney said a lot of children at the school do not use the toilets and “hold on until they get home”.
“The toilets are dark and smelly, the floor is disgusting and the sinks are falling apart,” Mrs Pheeney said.
“The boys toilets and the urinals are terrible — they’re very unhealthy and I really don’t think any member of government would use these toilets if they were put on the spot.
“There is also a group of preps and grade 1’s who eat their lunch outside the toilet blocks and the stench is terrible.
“I wouldn’t eat my lunch there and the children shouldn’t be expected to eat their lunch there — it’s pretty awful.”
The toilets are not the only problem at the school, with flooding also an issue. (Supplied: Jenny Pheeney)
Flooding also closes playground
She said the toilets were not the only problem at the small school, which has an enrolment of more than 500.
“For many years there have been drainage issues in the lower prep area … flooding has literally devastated stores and supplies and teaching resources,” she said.
“It’s not an infrequent thing — it’s happened at least three times in the past six years.”
A lot of children do not use the school toilets and hold on until they get home. (Supplied: Jenny Pheeney)
Mrs Pheeney said as a result of the flooding, the Year 1 playground had been closed for almost a year because children were hurting themselves.
“The area was cordoned off and the play equipment was taken away and won’t be replaced,” she said.
“Education Queensland has told us it will be up to us as a community to replace the dangerous play equipment.
“So once again, the SRSS P&C is now up against providing infrastructure and facilities that, quite frankly, our children — and all Queensland state school children — are entitled to as part of their state-funded education.”
Some boys ‘have pretty poor aim’
Parents first wrote to local MP and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni in August last year pleading for help for safety and maintenance issues at the school.
They wrote again last month to Education Minister Grace Grace.
Mr de Brenni said he was aware of problem.
“I do have a confession to make — I know that those toilets are quite stinky and I’ve got to take some responsibility for that,” he said.
“When I started school at Springwood Road State School 36 years ago, I can distinctly remember being like most little boys there and having some pretty poor aim, so those toilets do need some work.”
Mr de Brenni promised help was on the way.
“The budget that was handed down yesterday includes $768,000 worth of maintenance for things like toilet blocks across the Springwood electorate … so those refurbishments are on their way,” he said.
“There’ll be a meeting happening between the school, the P&C and the department, so they’ll schedule that work across the course of this budget year.
“It is absolutely important that every child gets to go to a school with the best facilities, whether it is clean and operating toilets, or whether it’s the latest technologically advanced classrooms or having enough teachers and teacher aides, that’s got to be part of all of our consideration.”
Mrs Pheeney said it was great the State Government was finally listening.
“I’m absolutely thrilled, flushing toilets will be amazing for our children — I think they may even use them,” she said.
“I’m really hoping we get new toilet blocks for the sake of our children … it would be really nice to walk away from the school saying at least we’ve made a bit of a difference.”