Locked Out of the Bathrooms

no vaping or smoking

Rieley Peak and Brookelle Barnes

Many of us have experienced trying to walk into the bathrooms, but they are locked. Locking the bathrooms is completely legal and common for schools to do. But, without knowing what bathrooms open students are left walking aimlessly around the halls trying to find an open bathroom. With the 5-minute bathroom rule it is difficult to find an open bathroom do what you need to and get back to class. Teachers need to be more considerate over the fact students can’t just walk into any bathroom they please. Teachers get to have keys to the staff bathrooms, we don’t.  Teachers can use a bathroom near their class while some students have to walk across the school. It is not fair to not tell staff and students what bathrooms are locked, and which are usable. But they have reasons for locking the bathrooms. There have been many fights in the bathrooms and of course for the safety of students they locked the bathroom to prevent any other fights to take place. If we cannot be trusted with all bathrooms unlocked, then we need to change. Students go to the bathrooms to smoke, and/or partake in sexual activities. Clearly these are situations in which they should lock bathrooms, but does locking them help stop these activities? They cannot stop the activity, but it can be limited by locking some bathrooms.

According to the Washington State Legislature website there should be one working toilet for every 30 students and staff, and one third of the toilets can be replaced by a urinal. Our school’s population totals to about 1,300 combined, which means we need at least 43 working toilets for all students and staff as well as at least 14 working urinals (1/3). Our school has a combined total of 104 toilets and urinals. With our research we have come to the conclusion that our school has 66 total working toilets/urinals open (including staff bathrooms). This is including girls and boys Lockeroom, Aux gym, as well as the J-Lab. Not including these locations (since not everyone is always able to go in there), there is only 44 available toilets and 12 available urinals to all Lakes students currently. The current bathrooms open for all students are the lower and upper center pathways, the success building closest to the bus loop, the cafeteria bathrooms, and the nurses’ bathrooms.

I find it a little strange that there are no bathrooms in the pathways building near the band/choir room. Of course, it is a lot of money to build new bathrooms especially if there is no space, so we cannot just put bathrooms anywhere. There clearly needs to be a change regarding the students. This is high school not middle school and not your home, it is not acceptable to take up the whole bathroom just to stand around, vape, etc. if we want all bathrooms open and more advantages we have to grow up and mature. Let’s not ruin this for everyone.