Restrooms stink and lack privacy

Emma Riley, Staff Writer

A restroom is about the only privacy one can get at school. A door that locks, with no worry that anyone will come in. That isn’t always true. Locks in most of the girls bathrooms at school have gone missing.

No one really seems to know why, but people are pretty mad about it. No one can guarantee that you won’t get walked in on when you’re doing your business. To avoid this, most girls don’t use the stalls that don’t lock, causing lines for the bathroom to get longer and longer.

Though removing locks from bathroom stalls isn’t illegal, privacy is very important. Since most people who attend school are minors, we should have privacy in our bathrooms for our own protection.

According to KCRA 3, In schools like Oakridge, they have prohibited all access to any bathroom on campus during class time due to kids vaping in the stalls. Now, kids are only allowed to use the bathrooms at lunch in the cafeteria. KCRA 3 interviewed a student who attends Oakridge, named Dan Porter. “The vape pens are being disguised as, like, flashlights and, like, mechanical pens,” said Porter.

The teens also have to sign in with their name and the time before they go into the stalls. They also only let two people in at a time. Are locks disappearing more and more due to drug and substance abuse? One would have to wonder, might this happen to Rio too?

Not only do the locks at school seem to be broken lately, but the paper towel dispensers in the girls bathrooms are as well.

The paper towel dispensers either don’t work or they are empty. Not being able to dry hands, or just skipping it all together can cause sickness. When someone is sick and misses school, the school loses money. This is preventable by replacing the paper towel dispensers with new ones.

Each teen or child gets around 10 colds a year. It is more likely to get a cold at school than at home, or in the car. With things like human contact and wet hands, kids and teens are more susceptible to germs.

Freshman Heather Galicinao has also noticed the lack of paper towels and locks in the bathrooms.

“You go into the bathroom and realize there isn’t a lock on the stall so you have to go to another one and even that one doesn’t have a lock. It wastes time and sometimes your teachers need you back soon, and you have to get back to class right away,” said Galicinao.

Some teachers expect it takes about five minutes to go to the bathroom and back, but with locks missing, the wait time is considerably longer.

“When you’re going back and forth from class to the bathroom it takes longer,” said Galicinao.

While the school is not to blame for messes, paper towel dispensers do eventually just stop working, and should be replaced when they do give out.

“It’s really weird when you go to the bathroom and then realize there are no paper towels to dry your hands with,” said Galicinao.

Not to mention the fact of illness that is more likely because of the lack of paper towels.

“Yeah you could totally get sick. It’s not promoting good hygiene when you run out of paper towels and you can’t get rid of germs,” said Galicinao.

These problems have easy, simple and affordable solutions. So why has nothing changed?

Amuel Hutchens, one of the custodians said,“I had no idea they were broken, it’s the students job and the guys who work the night shift to tell me if anything needs to be replaced. I’ll make it my mission to get things fixed,” said Hutchens.

Hutchens has been working at the school since the beginning of October this year, and is here temporarily. When asked about the costs, because the school only has a limited amount of money he said cost doesn’t matter.

Hutchens is from Mariemont Elementary and said that nothing was broken in the bathrooms there.

“You can’t fix it if you don’t know about it. We are here to help you and need better communication between the staff and the students,” said Hutchens.

Was it a choice made by the school to take off locks in the bathrooms because of things like vaping and other drugs?

“Eventually the locks just break and they wear out and fall on the floor. I think that the night guys haven’t been communicating to me about this,” said Hutchens.

The things being broken or disappearing was all due to a lack of communication. The new locks and paper towel dispensers are expected to be taken out and replaced with new models very soon.

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