Anyone attending Leesville Road High School has likely used a bathroom and can thereby attest to the fact that the bathrooms at Leesville are gross, and something needs to be done about it. The conditions of the school bathrooms are completely unacceptable. In the women’s bathrooms, most of the stalls don’t lock, and some of the ones that do cannot be used. On top of these stalls not being usable, some of the sinks cannot be used, the paper towel dispensers fall apart regularly and there is often trash all over the floor.
Some of these aspects can be easily controlled by the student body, as they should be. On many occasions, I have walked into the bathroom to find dirt, paper towels, or other types of trash in the sink or on the floor. Putting trash in the trash can is not difficult, and it should be something everyone does naturally.
Aside from the fact that students simply should keep their bathrooms clean, they should want to; a clean bathroom creates a nicer experience for everyone.
Despite the aspects of the bathrooms that the student body can control, there are also parts that they can’t. Take, for example, the fact that the majority of the stalls in the girls bathroom do not lock, rendering these stalls practically useless.
“It’s the student’s responsibility to keep [the bathroom] nice, but at the same time the school has to provide better quality,” said Evelyn Puertos, a junior at Leesville.
On top of some stalls not even locking, the sanitary product disposals have fallen out of many of the stalls. This leaves giant holes that have been there since first semester, making some of the stalls that do lock pointless.
Even though school is a public building, and to some extent students forfeit their rights by attending a public school, students should still have a right to privacy, especially in the bathrooms. The lack of locks on the doors, and the gaping holes in between stalls eliminate the right to privacy all students are entitled to. Nobody is asking for the right to be exempt from drug searches, we just want to be able to relieve ourselves in a humane manner.
As well as the unuseable conditions of some of the stalls, the basic restroom hardware just doesn’t work. One of the sinks in the girl’s bathroom has a trash bag over it because it’s broken, the paper towel dispensers jam regularly, and the toilets overflow. While the source of these issues might be at the fault of the student body, they are not problems that the rest of the students can fix. Often, these problems go unsolved for days or weeks at a time, and the rest of the student body must suffer the consequences of their peer’s actions.
While some of these problems are gender specific, such as the sanitary product disposals, and to some extent the problems with the stalls, some of them apply to the men’s room as well.
“I think [the bathrooms] are fine, but most of the paper towel dispensers haven’t worked since probably mid second quarter; they’re fairly clean usually,” said Matt Barnes, a junior at Leesville.
It is understandable that some of these changes might be expensive and not strictly necessary, but so is a room full of two thousand dollar computers, yet the school has one of those. And if the school can afford a room full of computers, it can probably spare a few dollars for new trashcans, or reinstalling the locks on bathroom stalls.
Overall, the conditions of the school bathrooms are the joint responsibility of the student body and the school. But either way, the student body is entitled to a certain level of privacy and quality that the bathrooms simply are not providing.