Image from DALL·E.
Are you tired of dodging puddles of mystery liquid and navigating a minefield of discarded toilet paper just to use the bathroom at your high school? You’re not alone. Across the country, high school bathrooms have become notorious for their disgusting, dilapidated state. In fact, some schools have decided to throw in the towel and just close their bathrooms altogether, including our very own Washington High School.
As all students at Washington know, the state of our school’s bathrooms is often…well, let’s just say it leaves a lot to be desired. From overflowing toilets to graffiti-covered walls, it’s no wonder that our school has decided to take the drastic step of closing its bathrooms altogether.
So, what can we students do to improve things? A helpful tip is to remember the golden rule of bathroom etiquette: clean up after yourself. This means washing your hands (with soap, not just water), and disposing of your trash (not throwing it on the ground). Perhaps a bathroom bouncer would be a viable option, but the lack of funds means this idea wouldn’t work. In addition to improving the physical state of the bathrooms, schools can also take steps to address the other underlying causes of the problems. Many people have said that students are vandalizing bathrooms to get a reaction from staff and other students. Others say that this is an act of rebellion and a way for students to get their anger out in an expressive way. This goes into a much deeper topic of why students don’t feel comfortable bringing up or talking about their issues and problems. Are our school’s few safe spaces not good enough for students to get help? Getting to the root of this issue is important in order to stop this reckless behavior and provide support for students at Washington.
But let’s be honest, the ultimate solution to this problem lies with the school administration. Maybe it’s time for them to step up and take more drastic measures to stop the disasters that occur. This can involve the installation of security cameras and other measures to prevent vandalism. Some students say that social media is influencing a lot of this. Some student vandals have been writing down hateful comments on the mirror directed towards specific teachers and students. As horrible as trashing school bathrooms are, this sort of act is blatant bullying.
Another cause of bathroom vandalism may be a lack of supervision. When bathrooms are not regularly monitored, it is easier for students to engage in this type of behavior without fear of being caught. It is important for schools to have a system in place to ensure that bathrooms are supervised and that students feel safe and supported while using them. Many students have said teachers and administrators are being too lenient and are letting students get away with vaping in the bathrooms and vandalizing them. This can include educating the students at Washington about the importance of maintaining clean and functional facilities and implementing stricter rules and consequences for those who engage in vandalism or other forms of destruction. Although resolving this entire mess will take a while, it’s important to fix problems instead of ignoring them. Happy (and sanitary) peeing!