What the Heck is Going on with the Bathrooms?

Picture+of+the+new+soap+dispensers+and+the+empty+spaces+on+the+walls+where+the+stolen+ones+were.

Picture of the new soap dispensers and the empty spaces on the walls where the stolen ones were.

Gracie Westphal, Brimstone Editor and Reporter

It may seem that Glenwood Springs High School is on top of everything, what with sorting out an entirely new schedule, finding new teachers to fill difficult positions, and continuing to regulate COVID-19 restrictions. But we’re missing the mark on one very important, and often overlooked, aspect of our school: The Bathrooms.

 

Most of the people attending GSHS have been affected by the poor upkeep of the bathrooms throughout the school- and it’s time for some improvement or at least some answers. Why are so many latches on stall doors breaking? Why are most of the soap dispensers inoperable? And above all, why does it appear that nothing is being done about any of these issues?

 

I began asking myself these questions one day after walking to the bathroom between the 2500 and 2600 hallways. The door was locked so I walked to the downstairs bathroom instead. What I found was a restroom cramped in every corner with people; squished behind the door, in front of the sinks, and in front of the stalls.

 

While waiting for the line to dissipate, I realized why there were so many people: Two out of three of the stalls lacked functioning latches. Most were not brave enough to use them, but some girls began asking fellow strangers to hold the door closed for them. I, for one, held the door closed for someone, as they did for me. It was extremely embarrassing.

 

After that mess, I went to get soap out of the dispenser and… nothing came out. Someone else tried the dispenser on the other side, which had the same result, despite the fact that both were filled with soap. Instead, we all tried to wash our hands as well as we could with water.

 

Parker Wilson, a fellow journalist and sophomore at GSHS is also on the search for the answers to these questions, as well as a few of her own.

 

“Often when I go in there the stall will be taken and multiple girls will be in there,” Wilson said about the handicapped stall. “It sucks because I can’t really do anything about it.”

 

Wilson is wheelchair-bound and has no choice but to use the handicap stall, or else go all the way downstairs, up the ramp, and to the drama hallway if she needs to use the restroom. But Wilson said, “just because I’m in a wheelchair doesn’t mean that I should have to do special things to have to do something like going to the bathroom.”

 

Wilson feels as though she is already excluded from so many ‘normal’ things, and that being forced to use the gender neutral bathrooms in the drama hall, just because people are taking up the handicapped stall, would make her feel even more excluded.

 

Wilson does agknowledge, “If there are no other stalls open, then yes, it’s okay to use that one.” But when it comes to people who choose to use that stall when there are other ones open, especially when they’re just goofing off, Wilson said, “there is no excuse for them to do that and make me wait twenty minutes and get in trouble.”

 

In a conversation between two sophomores, Brianna Carino-Moore and Zeke Watkins, Carino said, “The trash cans are always overflowing.”

 

“Wait, you guys have paper towels?” asked Watkins. Apparently, the boys bathrooms do not have paper towel dispensers, at least according to everyone I’ve spoken to who uses the men’s bathrooms in the school. But, some of the girls’ bathrooms do have paper towels. That is, if the dispensers aren’t empty. So does that mean that there are even more differences like this between the boys’ and girls’ bathrooms? That doesn’t seem to be super fair.

 

And, besides the issues she’s been facing with the handicap stall being taken, Wilson encountered yet another problem a couple of weeks ago.

 

“I flushed the toilet and the whole bathroom flooded,” Wilson recounted. “I was just peeing and I flushed the toilet and it was not fine. It started overflowing and there were other girls in the bathroom. They all were running out and obviously they all thought it was my fault. I had to apologize over and over again.”

 

There’s no doubt that the bathrooms are struggling to keep up with the hundreds of people that walk through those doors every day. But, perhaps most important of all, “the people who use the boy’s bathroom are constantly complaining that the bathroom is closed for whatever reason,” said Wilson.

 

And here comes our next question; What’s with all of the recent bathroom closings and major issues? Especially in the boys’ bathroom? Obviously, one closure was due to the flooded toilet, but there have been many others.

 

“The boy’s locker room is closed because, apparently, vandalism,” said Watkins a couple of weeks ago. “And I can’t use it to change for team sports.”

 

Recently, the school has been dealing with vandalism, especially in the bathrooms, because of a TikTok trend called the “devious lick”. It’s basically when a person takes a random object from a public space and posts about it. Schools all over the U.S. and, undoubtedly, other countries around the world have been affected by this recent trend.

 

“People are stealing toilets, essentially,” said Wilson.

 

SpartanWarrior117, a reddit user, posted a picture of their own school bathroom with gates blocking the door. The caption read, “Due to a stupid TikTok trend kids at my school have been vandalizing our school bathrooms, now we need an escort to pee. Soap dispensers and a hand dryer has been stolen. A stall door was also taken off its hinges and vandalized.”

 

There have been many posts like these on reddit and other social media platforms, all complaining about how kids at the schools they attend have been destroying the bathrooms for the sake of posting for a TikTok trend. And it’s not like there aren’t any consequences either; As you’ve just read, some schools are resorting to having escorts to the bathrooms, taking doors off of stalls to prevent more vandalism and drawing, giving out serious punishments to those who get caught, or closing their bathrooms altogether. Could this be a glance into our school’s future?

 

“The walls on the stalls are engraved with a ton of stuff,” said Watkins. “The locks on the stalls don’t work, the stalls get stuck in some spots. The soap dispensers are always out of soap, and sometimes the water just doesn’t work.” Initially, I thought that the issues we’ve been facing with the restrooms were due to poor upkeep, but is it actually a result of casual vandalism by students?

 

Wilson said, “I mean we’re high schoolers, shouldn’t we know how to use the bathroom?”

 

Yes, we should. The fact that the school has had to pay so much money for the damage to school property is ridiculous. Although, I will admit that I and multiple other students wonder why the school would offer up so much money for possibly fake tips so that they don’t have to spend as much money on the stolen property.

 

Regardless, the recent behavior by many students is not acceptable, and the fact that we are struggling so badly with this is almost laughable. This is a highschool, not daycare.

 

If you would like to see some reddit posts about this, here are some to check out:

https://www.reddit.com/r/KidsAreFuckingStupid/comments/pop8fu/due_to_a_stupid_tik_tok_trend_kids_at_my_school/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/KidsAreFuckingStupid/comments/poyip9/i_thought_the_earlier_post_was_overblown_then_i/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3