Students express frustrations amid bathroom closures; MHS admin addresses issues

Natalie Kelley, Reporter

Bathroom problems started way back in September with Tik Tok challenges being the main culprit. Soap dispensers, broken water faucets, and clogged toilets were the result of something called a “Devious Lick,” which is basically when you steal or damage school property and post it to social media.

So far, bathrooms during lunch have been locked. Bathrooms in G Wing are closed; upper A Wing and upper C wing boy’s bathrooms are both closed due to vandalism or plumbing issues. 

Senior Laurencya Snodgrass said that walking from G wing all the way to C wing bathroom is more than just annoying and that it’s taking time away from her band class, which is a class she enjoys. 

“It’s super annoying. I enjoy my band class, so for me to have to walk 10 minutes to use the bathroom during class bothers me a lot,” Snodgrass said. “Especially when I had nothing to do with the vandalism of the bathrooms.”

In a school the size of Monroe, it’s hard to determine the culprits. There are not enough staff members to watch every bathroom in the school. Because of this teachers have been asked to be more attentive to who uses the bathroom. Assistant Principal Jen Furkas said that administration has been trying to crack down on the misuse of bathrooms for quite some time. 

“So far we have clarified our expectations of the students,” Furkas said. “For kids who have been brought into my office for doing something suspicious or after being caught, they now face more strict consequences than they have in the past.”

Teachers have now been asked to not allow students to use the bathrooms in large groups during downtime in classrooms. Not only that, teachers must give a yellow pass to every student because these passes are easier to see than white ones. During passing times, more teachers walk through the bathrooms in order to make sure negative things aren’t being done by students. 

Recently, the gender neutral bathroom has been locked for general use because of students sitting in there for 45 minutes at a time. 

“Locking the gender neutral bathroom was a hard decision for administration,” said Furkas. “We don’t want to do these things, but we need to in order to keep students safe. I want to make it clear that the gender neutral bathroom is still open for use, you just have to ask Mrs. Devenish to unlock it through the counseling center.”

As the entire student body begins to see the repercussions of only a few students’ actions, the administration is hoping that students receive a positive peer influence to keep these certain negative actions from happening. 

“I hope that students will begin to understand that their actions do not only affect themselves, but they affect students around them also.” Says Furkas. “Since we can’t legally close the bathrooms, nor would we ever do that, we are hoping that students will realize that the actions of a few, affect many. We urge students to speak up in bathrooms when they see that something is happening, tell people to stop and leave so that you don’t also get caught. We want the student body to use their voice in this situation. We never want students to feel silenced.”

As students in this building get closer and closer to becoming adults, I wish we would all begin to act like it. We are better than this.