Should showers be mandatory in all schools?

By Karla Patey
Roncalli Central High School
Port Saunders, Newfoundland


After a hard workout in physical education class, students are warm and sweaty. If there are no showers in the school, the students have to go back to class the same way.

This is a problem that students and teachers at Roncalli Central High must face. Should the district school board have a policy saying that showers need to be mandatory in every school?

When I go back to class all sweaty, it makes me feel uncomfortable and unclean," says Bryant Mahar, a student at Roncalli.

Nobody wants that sweaty smell on them or around them when sitting in a classroom learning. If personal hygiene is part of the issue then the district school board has to consider and realize that it's important that students have a chance to clean up after gym class. Those sweaty hands that just came from the gym will be touching desks, sharpeners, even other classmates.

"After gym class, you go back to class all smelly and stuff and it's gross," says Morgan Hynes, a phys. ed student.

When asking students who are involved in sports activities in the school if they would use the showers, they all replied "yes" , some adding "as long as they were clean and maintained properly".

Mike White, the new phys. ed teacher at Roncalli, said that he brought up this issue with the principal, Ron Chambers. Chambers looked at the advantages of showers while also viewing some downfalls. He taught in another school in the same school district as Roncalli and he said that the school also didn't have showers.

"With the schools in this district, I don't think that the district school board should have any problem putting showers in all schools," says Chambers.

Chambers agrees that it is a good idea due to the personal hygiene factor but he said that he's not too optimistic on the district school board agreeing with this.

If the district school board does take a look at this issue, they may not see it as clearly as the students do. Time limits are part of the problem because students are only given a certain amount of time for gym class. Surely, students can take into consideration that lunch times or recess times can be used for showers if they don't have enough time during the phys. ed class.

If students and teachers of Roncalli High can agree with each other on this issue, the question is whether the school board will agree?