Every ERHS student is aware of The Bathroom Situation; during most times of the day, including during classes, all of the bathrooms in the main building and liberal arts building are closed. For most of us, this is a substantial inconvenience, since going all the way down to the quad to wait in line for 10 minutes isn’t the most pleasant.
Consequently, there are a number of negative effects of closing the bathrooms for the majority of the day. Two sophomores discuss some of the effects of this decision on the students.
“Sometimes, when using the bathroom is urgent, having to wait in line for ten minutes isn’t great.” Other concerns they brought up is how long students have to wait in line during the passing period. And since most teachers don’t want to let kids use the bathroom during instructional time, more students are forced into the only open restroom in the Quad.
“When you’re late, teachers reprimand you, but if you’re on time, you’re not allowed to leave the room at all… I’ve had to skip club meetings and activities at lunch because I had to wait so long [just to] use the restroom.”
Obviously, there’s also a plethora of rumors that surround the situation. Many students believe that the bathrooms are closed because of the continual drug issue; a number of students are rumored to have taken advantage of the privacy of the restrooms to vape and Juul in the bathroom stalls. Another theory circulating is that the destructive tendencies of some students are the cause of bathroom closures. This is in reference to the frequent breaking of items in the restrooms, such as the soap dispenser that was torn off the wall, which was later announced over the loudspeaker.
But to what extent are these rumours true? Eagle Rock assistant principal, Ms. Cisneros, comments on the situation:
“We’ve had more than several occasions of vandalism in the bathrooms, graffiti in the bathrooms, vaping in the bathrooms, and inappropriate behavior, but not sexual, in the bathrooms, particularly on the third floor.” She said, but went on to address some of the positives. “It’s a proactive measure that we’re trying, so that students will filter down to the bottom floor and out of the hallways during lunch and instructional time.”
False fire alarms have gone off significantly less frequently since the closing of the bathrooms, which helps to resensitize students to the fire alarm, which has been an issue in previous years. The reported vaping has also gone down since the closing of the building restrooms.
“I wish that we were at a place where we knew that there wasn’t going to be graffiti and vaping… and potentially [opening the restrooms] back up is still an option, but we’re only a few actually monitoring. So we want to get all of the bathrooms opened up, but we do need your help and support as students to make that happen.”