To Lock or Unlock: That is the Question
Two GFHS students debate the merit of safety and convenience with student restrooms
April 1, 2019
Unlock School Restrooms
Ever since the school year started, the boys restrooms have been continuously locked, except for one near the cafeteria. This not only caused anger among students during passing periods, but also tardy cards. As a student, this concerns me.
I use the men’s room about three to four times during school hours. The passing period gives us seven minutes to do our needs and get to class. However, there is no way we can manage that at once.
I had an idea of why they suddenly locked the male restrooms, but I wanted solid proof , so I interviewed Leonor Delaguila, assistant principal, to find the real reason behind the locked bathrooms.
“We are getting too many kids, particularly the ninth graders, who are smoking in there,” said Delaguila.
Unfortunately, this is not the only school who has misused restrooms. In the essay “Deterring Abuse and Vandalism in School Restrooms” the author states that “restrooms often become hideaways for those students who are bent on mischief — smoking or using drugs.” However, there is a larger percentage of people who use the restrooms for what it’s meant for, than those who go to smoke.
The drawback is that locking the restrooms have only stopped a few, and, there are students who smoke in the stalls, making the lines longer. Students who need to use the restroom, get irritated but they feel guilty reporting those students, therefore, the rule-breaking students are not stopped.
Those individuals who are smoking substances need to be aware that smoking on a daily basis leads to mental health issues. On drugaware.com, they state that “the link between drug use and mental health issues is common.” Having one mental health issue can lead to another, and even increase the likelihood of “needing” the drug.
One solution is to report any suspicious behavior seen in the restroom, regardless, if you know the person or not. Take into consideration someone’s health as well as having one less person to worry about.
Our principal and administrators are trying to come up with solutions to keep the restrooms safe and open.
Delaguila said, “We are trying to hire more people so that way we have more eyes out there.” In fact, she is even willing to recruit parents who are available for supervision in restrooms.
People smoking should also play a role. If they want to continue smoking, at least they should wait until after school and off campus. This way, the whole school isn’t involved and everyone is minding their own business.
There has to be a different method of handling this situation, for the sake of the innocents. It’s not fair for the ones who don’t do that stuff to have to hold it.
We shouldn’t pay the price for stupid behavior.
Lock the Restrooms
My first year of high school freshman year, restrooms were used responsibly. Now a few years later, that has changed.
This is due to the fact that the boys restrooms are always locked except for one, the restroom in the cafeteria. With seven minute passing periods to use the restrooms, there isn’t enough time and students are arriving late to their classes due to locked restrooms.
As my concern and frustrations grow, I got answers from the assistant principal, Leonor Delaguila why the restrooms are locked. The answer Delaguila gave me made sense. There are students smoking in the restrooms, specifically 9th graders.
Several times I’ve used the restroom this year where I saw that fog of smoke roaming through the restroom air. This type of activity happens so frequently I’m ignoring it.
In 2018, 52% of all teens from ages 12-18 in California reported having smoked marijuana, which is the highest it has ever been. With marijuana now legal to adults 18 years old and up in California, the fear is that rate will increase even more.
According to the essay, “Deterring Abuse and Vandalism in School Restrooms” students smoking in school restrooms is a growing issue. This essay states that school restrooms are perfect hideaway spots for mischievous students due to the lack of supervision.
When I addressed this specific reasoning and the lack of supervision Delaguila said that she was going to expand the number of adult supervisors to decrease the number of students smoking.
Delaguila then added that she is not going to give up until she has all the supervision needed to stop students from smoking in the restroom.
So by locking the restrooms and only being limited to one, it helps decrease the number of the students smoking in the restroom.
But there are many students that have medical issues that cause them to need to use the restroom. Why is it that students who use the restrooms responsibly have to suffer the same consequences of those who use the restrooms irresponsibly?
Although it is frustrating only being limited to the use of one restroom, I completely understand and respect the reasoning behind the locked restrooms. I now know that it is only for the better of our school and for the better of students. I strongly support the administration for doing what they need to do to make our school a better place.
If I am only limited to using one restroom to help and benefit the school, I am all for it.