“Coach, can I go to the bathroom?” a student in P.E asked her teacher.
The coach nodded and the student left the track to go to the bathroom.
Once she reached the bathroom, she groaned in frustration as it was locked. She began to jog to the bathrooms in the main hallway and hoped that she wouldn’t get in trouble for taking too long.
For the students who don’t know already, both the girls’ and boys’ bathrooms by the stadium have been closed due to the vandalism in the boys’ bathroom. In the boys’ bathroom, the stalls to separate the bathrooms are broken, the towel dispensers, trash can and soap dispensers are destroyed with graffiti all over it.
The bathrooms are closed all day, and will only open for events like sports events. The P.E, dance, choir, guitar, and band students now have to go to the bathrooms all the way in the gym or the main hall ways. Not only does it make students miss class time, they also have hurry all the way to the other bathroom if they need to go badly.
“There’s no point in closing bathrooms that are used a lot,” said Freshman Anthony Trego, 14.
When teams from other schools come for games, they mostly use the bathrooms by the stadium. Even though the bathrooms are open during games, it still leaves a bad impression on the school with the bathrooms being vandalised.
School vandalism can’t be stopped that easily since students have many opportunities to do it, but there are solutions to catch the students doing it.
For one, teachers can monitor who goes to the bathroom, especially in P.E. Some teachers are unaware of who goes to the bathroom and who comes back from it, so in order to keep on eye on them, teachers can have bathroom sign out sheets. In years prior, teachers actually turned in bathroom sheets everyday, but maybe in the future, teachers can turn in their bathroom sheets on days that vandalism occur so it can help narrow down suspects. It is difficult for coaches to check who is going to the bathroom during P.E. or practice, but they could occasionally check the bathrooms to see if students are messing around or hiding in there.
Another solution is for the school to set up cameras or have smoke or CO2 detectors.The cameras can only focus on who’s in the bathroom instead of the students actually using the bathrooms, and the smoke and CO2 detectors can indicate whether or not people are doing drugs in the bathroom. Though these solutions do cost money, but it will help prevent vandalism and the use of drugs from happening so much.
All these solutions can help prevent vandalism in the schools, but the easiest solution is to tell someone if you see something happening. Students don’t use this solution because they want to be labeled as a tattletale, but if they see stuff happening in the bathrooms or anywhere, they should tell security or their teachers. And if they don’t want to go tell them in person, there is a crime hotline for schools and students can call in as anonymous. Students can call 1-800-78-CRIME.
Vandalism may seem like a simple problem, but if it gets out of hand, it can affect the whole school. Not only would it close bathrooms for students, it will affect our school’s reputation and give us a bad image.
“Instead of destroying your school, take care of it. You have to come here for the rest of your high school years and it might even be your kid’s future school,” said Security Irais Agustin.
Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Ceminsky
Boys kicking down the stalls in between bathrooms is what caused the bathrooms to close.