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22 year old camp counselor, he/him

"I work as a Camp Counselor in Prospect Park. We often have to use the bathroom closest to the Carousel. Several of the preschoolers I was working with one week were afraid of the bathrooms, and I don’t blame them. However, it was to the point that two of them refused to use the bathrooms in the park. This led to the kids wetting themselves on several occasions.

On one of these occasions, I had to take one of the kids across from the carousel to the bathroom in order to have them change into dry clothes. The cleaner and more spacious of the two small bathrooms was the men's room, but there was a stuporous homeless man lingering in the stall, so we had to use the women’s room which was covered in human waste. Feces were smeared across the walls, and the floors were wet with urine and water. I had no choice but to change the child in this bathroom, as the next one was a significant distance away. It was incredibly difficult to redress the child without putting their clothing onto the floor and without touching the walls, while also having to help them stand on the tops of their shoes to keep their socks clean.

It took several days for the feces to be removed from the walls, and we had to use that restroom several times a day due to it being in our start and end zone. We had major concerns about the children coming into contact with the waste, considering there wasn’t any soap or napkins to help with clean up. Toilet paper was often not present, either.

Now, as a supervisor, I instruct all employees to bring toilet paper and wet wipes, as well as plastic bags to bag contaminated belongings. I am pushing to have them provided to our employees as standard gear. I just wish the parks department would clean the bathrooms properly and frequently. Rubbing a dirty, wet mop across the floor and spraying some Lysol twice a week should not be considered satisfactory.

There’s no reason copious amounts of human feces should be stuck to the walls of a public bathroom for days on end, especially in the children’s section of the park- where our most vulnerable may be traumatized or contract illnesses."

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