What’s up with the third floor bathroom?

Whats up with the third floor bathroom?

By Libby Carney

Have you wondered why the 3rd-floor bathrooms are constantly locked? 

If so, let me settle your curiosity with the answer. 

Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, countless kids have stood in lines outside the bathrooms waiting. This excruciating wait has struck students and staff with anger and rebellion. Some question whether the struggle for the bathroom is just and argue for a solution. But others, including a Winthrop High School teacher, Mr. Walton, addressed the issue saying, “…there are no easy solutions.”

Regardless of the semi-permanently locked girls’ restroom on the 3rd floor, other bathrooms around the school have been closed at random times. This leaves students scrambling from floor to floor, trying to find an open one. In doing so, students are out of class longer and miss their lessons, potentially affecting their grades. The locked door policy was decided on by administration, who concluded that it was ultimately best to close these doors due to the students’ abuse of privacy. 

What abuse? Here are a few…

  • Vaping
  • Eating
  • Skipping class 
  • Crowding
  • Smoking
  • Vandalism 

And the list goes on. 

Now, for a bathroom to be open, a teacher must be sitting outside to monitor the number of students entering. The staff also requires them to remove their bags and leave them outside. This plan seemed great at first because, with monitors, more bathrooms would be open, and it would be harder for kids to vape and eat. However, as a result, teachers are losing out on their working periods, and students have to wait in long lines.

Another flaw in the plan was expressed by WHS student Jenny Delehanty who said, “In between periods, the bathrooms are always flooded with students; most kids just stand there vaping and block the stalls.” Many students have negatively taken advantage of the restrooms when lacking supervision. 

Adding to the abuse of privacy, another student, Shahd Karzan, noted that throughout the year, there have been “comments and drawings all over the walls”.

WHS teacher Ms. Irvine proposed, “A possible solution could be taking the main doors off.” (As shown in the image). She continued by stating, “All the stalls have doors, so it would not be an invasion of privacy. They could also hire bathroom monitors rather than having teachers on duty.”

In addition to relieving teachers of bathroom duty, hiring bathroom monitors would eliminate the overcrowding in between periods.

Another staff member replied to this plan with a different perspective; they added, “No doors could lead to more issues” because students wanting to “use the restroom with an expectation of privacy might find it lacking.” Ultimately, many plans and possible solutions have been put forward by students, staff, and parents-but none have proven effective. 

Given all the possible explanations for the 3rd-floor bathroom being locked, I asked Principal Crombie, who said, “There’s a maintenance issue with the plumbing.”