Hays’s alarming lack of soap


Carlos Sanchez

In several of the bathrooms in this school, this view is common. Most of the bathrooms have an alarming lack of soap.

Carlos Sanchez, Entertainment Editor

There have been a lot of complaints about the bathrooms as of late. I remember specifically sitting in sixth period, when someone returned from the bathroom and announced, “Why isn’t there any soap in the bathroom?” Now personally, I remember last year, there also was no soap. This has been a problem for a long time now. But then I started to think. Why is there no soap in a school? I feel like school’s should have soap on their top priority list, right up there with good internet and good air conditioning. But we don’t have any of those three. So let’s start small with soap.

I decided to look and see the issue for myself. I checked six boys bathrooms (and my friend Theo Vela checked one). We checked both A downstairs, both A upstairs, B upstairs, B downstairs, and C downstairs. Out of all seven of these, only one of these had soap (being B downstairs). That’s just insane. Most dispensers are either empty or removed. I started to wonder if the girl’s bathroom shared a similar theme. So I asked my friend Lita Silguero, 10, to check all seven of these (minus C downstairs, so it is really just six). Unfortunately, similar results are found. She has reported that she found one bathroom with soap but it is very little. Two bathrooms were locked, due to other issues in this school. But she has reported that she found a few with no soap.

Well you may be thinking, “What’s the problem? It’s just soap, go back to talking about the next Nintendo game.”

Well would you believe me if I told you it’s against the law to not have soap in a bathroom– well, at least if you’re a food vendor. In Kyle, ordinance 924 states “A hand washing sink (equipped with soap and paper towels).”

And while that ordinance is for food vendors, I feel as if the standard for food vendors should also be a part of the standards for schools. In Buda, Ordinance _07106-2, it implies the requirement of soap without actually saying it.

But let’s say that’s not good enough for you, then let me quote from the Texas Health and Safety Code 144.027. This one is specifically for facilities that have employees, which this school has. “A) Adequate and convenient toilet facilities for employees shall be located in an establishment. B) An adequate number of lavatory facilities for employees to wash their hands shall be provided at convenient locations in the establishment and must be supplied with warm water under pressure and with soap or another detergent. C) A drinking water supply shall be provided at convenient locations in the establishment for the use of employees.” Did you catch it? “Must be supplied with warm water under pressure and with soap or another detergent.” This lack of soap is breaking the law.

This is proof I am not making this up. This code is serious.

Now the question remains: why? Why would the school be cutting these corners? Especially if it’s breaking the law. Now let’s think about this logically, the average soap dispenser (the kind the school uses) is about $20 a pop. With all these bathrooms, that adds up. But they already own the dispensers. The problem is the soap itself. Soap, in big industrial bottles, can be like $60 for 10 big jugs. Keeping in mind how many people go to this school, they’ll be running out quickly. That also adds up really quickly. And since we do know that the school can barley afford basic necessities that every school needs, this must just be another way to save money. So maybe one day they could buy two more music halls, just for the fun of it. But this is all speculation and I wanted real answers. So I went to get the truth right from our Principal’s mouth. Or more accurately from his keyboard. I sent him this email on September 25th.

“Dear Mr. Pierce,

Good afternoon sir. Today I took a gander into the restrooms at this fabulous high school. When I went in, I was appalled by the extreme lack of soap. I know for a fact that the Texas Health and Safety code 144.027, states, “must be supplied with warm water under pressure and with soap or another detergent”. But these bathrooms did not have soap. Out of curiosity, I started to check a lot of the bathrooms, most were locked and I only found one with soap in the A building. So the question is, why is your school breaking the law? To save money? Or maybe you just forgot. Respond to me as soon as possible because I am genuinely concerned why there isn’t soap in the bathrooms for your employees and students.”

And this was the response.

Pierce said this is his expectation, and he responded again explaining that staff is following up and citing possible vandalism as the culprit in the lack of soap.

There is a lot of truth to what he is saying. This school has a ton of vandalism, I wouldn’t be surprised if something is being vandalized as you read this. But this is also a lazy excuse because A) that doesn’t explain why there is no soap on the remaining dispensers, B) this has been going on for a little over a year and you’re just now doing something about it? That seems really fishy to me.

In about a month I will write an update to this story, to see if anything has been done. I think a month is more than enough time to clear this issue. But there should be an easy fix to the problem. I guess we will see what will happen next.