Bad Bathrooms

Quality, cleanliness of restrooms reflects badly on South.


A sign on the boys’ restroom in the world language hallway denotes that it is closed. Photo by Marci Townsend.

Besides the Commons, I think most of us can agree that the bathrooms are one of the biggest school-wide shared spaces. At this, one would probably assume that they are well taken care of and cleaned. However, this could be further from the truth. While the bathrooms that the outside public will most likely see, like the gym and common area bathroom, are renovated and nice, there are several South bathrooms that are run down and constantly broken. Additionally, they are either frequently closed, filled with strange behavior, or are too small. 

The first and most prominent issue with the bathrooms is that there seems to always be something wrong with them. While the gym and Commons bathrooms are nice because those are the ones that the public will most likely see, there are frequent issues with the bathrooms in the social studies wing, locker room bathrooms, and the business and world language bathrooms. the most disgusting bathroom in the school is the social studies.  There was a span of about a week where every time I went into the girls’ bathroom, the lights were flickering on and off and there was no way to stop it. I would mess with the light switch but nothing would happen. I had to use the flashlight on my phone to be able to see and ended up bumping into multiple people. And while there are supposed to be three stalls, there’s constantly only one or two that are operating. The other is usually either clogged or broken in some other way. Additionally, the locker room bathrooms are a mess. The doors don’t lock and you have to lean forward to keep them closed. Imagine trying to do your business and having to tip almost off the toilet to be able to keep the stupid door closed. It’s always leaning off its hinges and is rusted and nasty. I mean, I realize that the school is probably not made of money, but why can’t we at least get new doors on the stalls? Or fix the lighting? There doesn’t have to be whole new bathrooms made, but at least fix some of them so they don’t look like a rural gas station bathroom. 

Another issue with the school bathrooms is that there is at least one that is always closed. Last year there were multiple times when I tried to go to the business hall bathroom, but it was closed and I had to walk to the science bathroom or another one across the school. It’s not like the bathrooms are closely put together. You basically have to walk the mile in PE just to go number one. While these bathrooms are always closed, they never seem to get better. What are they closing them for, if not to fix them? The bathroom by the nurse’s office has been closed for several years. I think the last time I used it was freshman year. Why? The bathroom by the bookstore gets packed with people at lunch, so not having another bathroom nearby gets frustrating. I don’t want to walk halfway across the school just to use the bathroom. A lot of the bathrooms are also way too small. For example, social studies only has three stalls (two that work) and so there is always a huge line outside of it. Teachers end up getting mad when we spend too long waiting in line or asking to go to class, but what are we supposed to do? Sometimes it takes almost ten minutes to get into the bathroom. 

Lastly, there always seems to be suspicious behavior going on in the bathrooms. A lot of students vape in the bathrooms, and I have also heard of sexual activity going on. There will also be people changing in the bathrooms or just crowds of people not going to the bathroom taking up the space. Is there no way to make it better? The bathrooms are barely bathrooms anymore. Maybe bring back drug dogs or have teachers stand in the bathrooms to watch for illegal or weird activity, because the bathrooms are one of the main reason South is going downhill. They’re trash. 

I know that I’m graduating in like two weeks, but I don’t want to see my former high school become a dump. Instead of putting all of our money into a football field, South needs to put its money into the countless broken-down bathrooms that are littering the halls and step up.