Bathroom Policy Frustrates Innocent Students

Sarah Naughten, Staff Writer

In an effort to curb bathroom vandalism and vaping, the school administration has directed teachers to discourage or even prohibit students from using the restroom during class time.  This new policy went into effect on March 16.

Although vandalism in the bathroom is nothing new, this school year, it has been more severe and more persistent. There have been several incidences of students breaking soap dispensers, throwing soap on the ground, and defecating on the floor.

History teacher Lisa Herzig said she believes the rise in vandalism is partly due to a lack of consequences. “It’s not just the school but the home as well” that aren’t punishing these actions as much, she said.

At the beginning of this year, Herzig began discouraging students from using the bathroom during her class by giving them a limited number of hall passes for the semester and awarding 5 points of extra credit for not using them. “For the most part, students are trying to get out of class to take a break, whatever is necessary. I want to discourage that and at the same time reward students who show self-control,” said Herzig.

According to math teacher Petro Petreas, while there are other ways to deal with this dilemma, such as having hall monitoring or having students sign in and out of class, “no one wants to do that,” he said.

Petreas also admits that the recently instituted block scheduling may also be contributing to the problem. “I understand that 90 minutes is way too long to sit there and I realize a lot of people say they want to go to the bathroom when they just want to go walk around. At the same time, there shouldn’t be vandalism,” said Petreas.

The move to discourage bathroom use during class time has been tough on student-athletes. Junior Paloma Hancock, a member of the Camolindo track & field team, must drink a lot of liquid throughout the day to perform her best in workouts and competition, but it is difficult for her to convince her teachers to let her use the restroom for an “emergency,” which is now the only explanation she can use to get out of class.

“It’s honestly pretty annoying, and I can’t even comprehend why students would want to take time out of their day to color the school bathrooms? Like, I literally just want to go to the bathroom to use it, not write on it,” said Paloma.

Senior Patrick Buckley said, “It’s just kind of annoying if you have to and you have to wait until the end of the period, especially with block scheduling, the 90 minute periods can be a really long time and it’s for a stupid reason.”