Oy! Open up the bathrooms


Although the letter B has fallen out of boy the letter A seems to be on the rise for apathy. Photo by: Garrett Jaffe

Garrett Jaffe

I am now in the epicenter of my junior year of highschool and now more than ever with my current bustling days and rigorous schedule during class, at break and after school I feel as if any time not spent in class should be spent on school work, before the next wave of work comes bellowing over head.

Because of this I try to manage my time efficiently, once in a blue moon, between periods, or even during my work filled breaks, I go to the bathroom. Much to others and my own chagrin, most if not every one of my attempts to squeeze in time to simply go bathroom I find myself either waiting in a line to the door or on the other side of the campus.

Of the two boys bathrooms next to the ASB and Carers centers this bathroom remains locked and under reconstruction. Photo by: Garrett Jaffe

But they are not all crowded and poorly placed on school campus, two of them lay within sight of one another next to the ASB and Careers Centers. One of the boys bathrooms closest to the Career Center– with the lacking letter of “b” in boy spelling “oy” on its sign– is intermittently and currently closed for reconstruction. This centralized bathroom that is meant to lessen the clogged bathroom traffic during break periods does not remain locked just because “the school feels like it,” it is seemingly locked because of the behavior from individual students and the administration’s half-hearted attempts at regulating what students do in accordance with school rules in the bathroom.

Although the letter B has fallen out of boy the letter A seems to be on the rise for apathy. Photo by: Garrett Jaffe

On September 6, 2018, during my sixth period class– which is Journalism– I ventured through campus in search of a janitor and some answers regarding the reason, if any, for why the bathroom is locked. After exiting the Journalism classroom and merely turning my head one hundred and eighty degrees, I found who I was looking for only 180 feet or so away, working with vigor to keep our campus clean. The man I saw and later approached, was one of the school janitors, Ray Moreles. When I asked Morales why one of the bathrooms near the Career and ASB centers was locked, he replied, “We were getting vandalized last year, and what happened is they wanted me to open this other bathroom by ASB because they have a camera right there and they have someone watching it at all times, and so far we haven’t gotten vandalized, see if we can keep the vandalism away, then I can open the other one.”

I found this very interesting, because it is obvious that bathrooms with less staff presence around them would be less prone to vandalism and other illicit activities but I never thought that the placement of cameras would be any kind of tool in dealing with mischief. Something I asked myself was, “Well why wouldn’t they put a camera closer to the bathroom? That will discourage such activities or to find those that do break the school code of conduct.” I proceeded to look into this and on September 7, 2018, I went to find principal Carlos Cohen in the main office and get more information from a different perspective on the issues of bathroom misconduct.

When I asked Cohen for an example of what had prompted previous and current reconstructions, he said there were “people kicking in tiles on the walls and trying to pull the stalls down.” Then I asked him if the cameras were of any relevance in the issue of the repeated vandalization of the bathroom, he said, “What the cameras do is help us identify people when things have gone wrong, but they also help us prevent things too,… cameras don’t replace you, me and the entire staff… keeping an eye on stuff.”

It appeared to me from talking to Cohen that he believes the solution to this plight is that the staff and students should be vigilant of misconduct and report it if there is any, so that staff and administration can deal with it.

I believe that students should not have to be the “policeman” of fellow students. Their job is solely to learn and excel as best they can and if they need to take a leak, do so without having to wait in crowded stuffy rooms. I believe a solution to this problem would be administration trying new patrolling strategies around bathrooms as a deterrent to further misconduct. Also, to appeal to students by personal gain.

One thing I would like to instill in the reader of this, is to look at time depending on there own life’s and ask themselves– if they are spending “x” amount of time at school why shouldn’t they spend it trying something to better oneself? Whether it be new administrative approaches, getting ahead on school work or just acting respectively in order to have the convenience of another bathroom. Perhaps it doesn’t depend on the time but how well you as an individual are using it.