A Reddit user shared this photo claiming that his school is not allowing students to enter the school bathroom in between classes.
A Reddit post is bringing school bathrooms back into a national debate about public education policy. Only this time, it displays excessive restrictions on bathroom use. During summer school classes bathrooms were barred so that students could not use them between classes. This has sparked public outrage comparing schools to prison.
The Reddit user, Lord-Zippy posted a photo of barred school bathrooms 10 days ago. This has drawn over 14,000 comments and concerns over student rights. Students who are ill or experiencing off-schedule digestive needs were locked out of restroom facilities raising various public health concerns.
Lord-Zippy admitted that the school bathroom lockdowns were a result of previous summer school vandalism, but did not disclose the name of the school or city location. The user admitted that students smeared poop on the walls in the past. Vandalism has affected various districts as toilets have been broken, lights smashed, and one school janitor posted a photo of a trashed high school bathroom, displaying students’ lack of regard for others.
In addition, school violence often occurs in restrooms because they are enclosed spaces hidden away from staff and resource officers. Vulnerable students are often preyed on in these spaces. Just this year alone a teenage student was accused of beating an autistic student in the school bathroom, a Utah girl was beaten unconscious in a school bathroom attack, and a Pennsylvania student was hospitalized after another student bashed his head against the sink and repeatedly struck him. These are just a small few of the incidents plaguing the nation’s schools.
So while many have expressed outrage that school bathroom access would be restricted throughout summer classes, there is plenty of reason to police bathroom time and student behavior. One aspect of this situation struck many as increasingly odd. The Reddit user also admitted that while bathrooms were locked down between classes, they were opened while lessons resumed and teachers allowed students to be excused to visit the restroom during class time.
Why the school in question chose to utilize this method is uncertain, but as educators are busy teaching students during class time, the question of student safety and vandalism prevention remains. How can teachers prevent school bathroom incidents by only allowing children to use the restroom while educators are busy instilling lessons? It is also unclear whether the school has a resource officer on duty during summer sessions or what other security measures are in place.
Regardless, school bathrooms have been a known space for violent incidents and random acts of vandalism to occur. As state officials and school districts grapple with student discipline issues, school violence has continued to skyrocket leaving many administrators scrambling to find tangible solutions. While Lord-Zippy’s Reddit post led to thousands of comments and much criticism, the fact of the matter is that schools are also understaffed and unable to properly police students’ bathroom activities. In order to ensure that restrooms remain in proper working order and that students are safe, at least one school has felt the need to resort to barring bathroom usage during heavy traffic times.