Flushed Out


Precious Nwokolo

Sign posted on Lake Ridge bathroom to alert students that is has been closed. Courtesy of Precious Nwokolo (ENN Staff)

Recently, Lake Ridge’s restrooms have been closed down because of the activities some students do there that are not appropriate. It has affected both teachers and students in different ways.

Due to misuse, the school authorities have taken action by closing down restrooms. Academic Associate Principal, Shira Fuller clarifies the reason why students are prohibited from using some restrooms in the school. 

“Right now we are seeing a lot of inappropriate behavior in the bathrooms, especially bathrooms that are in isolated areas. For now, we are trying to limit access to those restrooms even though we know people need to use them,” said Fuller.

Some of the students are not comfortable with so many restrooms being unavailable. The restrooms that are open are often crowded. This forces students to move to other floors in search of available stalls. Freshman, Raven Emily explains how unsatisfactory, it has been for her and her peers.

“Actually, it (the open bathrooms) isn’t enough. Especially when it is for everybody. The reason is because if the restroom on one floor is occupied, then you have to go to the second restroom, which is on the other floor. I find it pointless to close down the restroom, but I understand their perspective,” said Emily.

Some of the students have an idea as to what caused the administration to close down the bathrooms. Sophomore, Samari Moore explains what might have triggered the shutdown.

I’m thinking it’s because some kids were probably hiding, smoking, clogging up the toilet, or just doing inappropriate things in the bathrooms,” said Moore.

Some of the teachers have also been impacted because of how much time they have to give to their students, knowing the restroom close to their classroom might be locked or occupied. Advanced English teacher, Beth Simmonds explains how the shutdown has disrupted her class time.

“It’s inconvenient and it takes more class time because we don’t have three bathrooms per level, we only have one. It takes more time to write passes and it takes longer for children to get to and from the bathroom. It makes it harder for me to monitor unlike before,” said Simmonds.

Some of the teachers don’t think closing down most of the restrooms is an effective solution, even though they understand it is to control the misuse of the restrooms. AP Human Geography teacher, Dena Marlar states why she doesn’t think it is the right decision.

“I do not think it is a good decision, simply because we have too many students and going to the bathroom is something that you cannot control. When there are not enough bathrooms available, it just makes for extended time away from class and congestion in the bathrooms. I don’t think it’s the solution,” said Marlar. 

The insufficient restrooms has created a problem for the school authorities, since they have been receiving complaints from teachers and most especially students. The school authorities are looking for a solution, but it might take a while. Fuller explains what the teachers and students can do for now.

“It may just have to be something that both the teachers and students can cope with for now, until we can get it under control,” said Fuller.

Sometimes students make a mess in the restroom during use. Having only one restroom available on each floor, has increased the amount of work for janitors. Emily points out the need for students to be responsible when using the bathroom, in order to make the janitors’ work less stressful.

“I feel it’s a matter of being appreciative towards our janitorial staff, that’s something that’s major. You can’t leave the bathroom dirty because they do a lot of work by sanitizing our bathrooms every single day. If you leave trash on the floor or you leave food on the floor, it doesn’t help the cleaner. You have to clean up after yourself, and don’t say that the janitors are going to do it for you, because they already have enough work to do for our school. They work really hard because of how big the school is,” said Emily.

The continued misuse of restrooms has caused some school authorities to rethink the shutdown. Simmonds explains how the situation can be handled properly.

“I think at this point, students have proven that they’re not getting the message since they’re still doing things in the restroom that they’re not supposed to do. So we’re going to have to have staff that’s permanently monitoring the restroom,” said Simmonds.

The malapropos behavior of some students abusing the restrooms, has left an impact on many individuals in the school. Teachers have to give up extra class time because of how crowded some bathrooms might be, making the students move to other floors in search of available restrooms. In order to find a more effective solution, teachers and administration are brainstorming ways to monitor bathroom use, while also providing availability for students.