A State of Disarray: West High Bathrooms

Tyler Hall, Reporter

West High has several bathrooms and, from student observations, nearly all of them are trashed. Students complain about them quite often, a good testament to the horrid state of West’s bathrooms.

While all bathrooms are not the nicest, the boys bathrooms here at West High are in a state of disarray. From trash littering the floors to stalls without doors, the bathrooms are not in the condition that they should be in. Starting with the boys bathrooms, problems like property damage and vandalism have always occurred. Yet people fail to see the consequences that follow.

The Situation

One of the stalls in the first floor boys bathroom during the homecoming dance earlier this year. (Tyler Hall)

During the homecoming dance earlier this year, one of the first floor bathroom stall doors was ripped from the hinges and thrown into the stall. On top of that, the trash bin was also thrown in. Damage to school property will not be replaced for free, they come with a price.

Stall doors being ripped from the hinges or broken became a trend leading up to their removal from the boys bathrooms. Earlier this year, the doors were removed from the stalls in several bathrooms. While many bathrooms have since had the doors put back, some still remain without. One of the two third floor boys bathrooms has had the doors removed from the stalls.

More severe damage came with the devious licks trend from Tik Tok where students would vandalize, steal or damage school property. Not only is theft and vandalism a crime, it also affects the people who were not involved in it.

School Wide Hall Pass Introduced

At the start of the second semester, a hall pass system was implemented. Not only did this decrease the amount of people who were in the bathrooms, it was easier to know who was skipping class or not. If students were caught in the bathrooms and halls without a pass they were most likely not supposed to be there. When the system was implemented, it brought with it some problems. Each floor has a different colored hall pass, a feature that was added to make sure students stayed on their respective floors. While it helps to make sure people get to the right places, it was equally problematic.

I think that it is hard to revoke a privilege for 800 students because 3 of them try to rip the doors off of the wall. While it could be possible for a student to do something that may require them to have stricter privileges, whatever is done should not impact the rest of the school population.

— Abby Avis

Aforementioned was the two third floor boys bathrooms. After implementing the bathroom pass system, one problem has prevailed; what happens when one bathroom is closed? Each floor has differently colored hall passes, a detail that was added to make sure that students stay on their respective floors. Since there is only one boys bathroom on the third floor that has stall doors, students will be out of options if it is closed.

Misuse and Frustrations

While the bathroom is not closed too often, it is frequently trashed and misused. Earlier this week, the toilets in one of the third floor boys bathrooms were filled with rolls of toilet paper. Not only is it a waste of toilet paper, it also prevents people from using it if needed. In addition, the sinks were left with wet paper towels in them; have we forgotten what a trash bin is for? While it was not a lot of paper towels, it is still a problem that should not be a problem to begin with.

Though the third floor bathrooms are commonly in bad condition, these problems are not limited to just them. Recently, the second floor bathroom near the art corridor was closed. While it was not made clear why it was closed, the reason came to be quite obvious; someone had broken one of the windows. Since the window was not replaced, it has since been boarded up to prevent further damage to it or students who could be cut by the glass.

This solution, however, seems to be short lived. Not long after being boarded up, the window was once again subject to damage; someone seemingly hit the board causing it to dent inward, matching the shape of the already broken window.

Back on the topic of cleanliness, the bathrooms are the polar opposite. In a Google Form sent out to the student body, almost each of the 102 responses had something to say about the bathrooms as a whole. One response that stood out was from senior Ava Bertram.

When discussing her thoughts on the state of the bathrooms at West High, Bertram said “I find it disgusting that I have no privacy in the bathroom because of the size of the stalls. They are too short and the stalls are so small it is hard for me to turn around in them.” For Bertram, there is one big thing that is missing. “There is no place for period products in the bathroom and I wish there was,” she says.

Bertram shared that she does not like to use the bathrooms because of their current state. While some bathrooms are nice, they are often the bathrooms that students no longer have access to. “The only nice ones are in the commons, PBDA, and in the office and we are no longer allowed the ones in the office,” Bertram explained.

Staff Perspective

While the students have their own opinions, Abby Avis, a campus safety member, shares that the bathrooms are decent for what they are. “Obviously they could always be improved hardware wise, I know there’s always leaky toilets. I do know that there have been some concerns from both staff and students on the cleanliness, but unless a custodian closes the bathroom down during the day to clean it, the best time to do so is after school. Overall for a public restroom in a school I think they are usually in pretty good shape,” Avis shared.

When discussing the misuse of the bathrooms, Avis said “I think that when students misuse the bathroom they make it harder for everyone else to be able to use that bathroom. The 2nd floor men’s restroom has been closed multiple times before which makes students and staff have to go to a different floor or across the building to use the restroom.” Students and staff alike are both impacted by the closing of bathrooms, one of the unfortunate effects of misuse of the facilities.

Although the removal of stall doors and other privileges will help prevent more damage, Avis believes that it is unfair for the staff and students that have to suffer the consequences as well. “I think that it is hard to revoke a privilege for 800 students because 3 of them try to rip the doors off of the wall. While it could be possible for a student to do something that may require them to have stricter privileges, whatever is done should not impact the rest of the school population,” Avis said.

Though there are many complaints, the bathrooms will not be fixed or renovated if they are just going to be misused and destroyed. If students want new bathrooms, they must first grow up and start respecting school property.