Bathroom Closures

Amid inappropriate behavior, administration closes bathrooms, causing frustration for many students


Rosemary Hormoz

Bathrooms affected by the closures have signs posted on the doors.

Rosemary Hormoz, Reporter

It’s the year’s hot topic: bathroom closures around the school due to vandalism and vaping. Everyone at Utica has different opinions on how the school should handle the situation. Students say it’s not fair to the kids that actually have to use the bathroom since they’re now required to walk across the school. Staff, however, say it’s what needs to be done in order to get everything under control.

The real reason for these lockdowns is the use of vaping devices among students.

Signs are posted in front of the every bathroom around the school, reminding students of the rules. Photo by Rosemary Hormoz

“The reason for all these closures are too many students congregating in the bathrooms,” principal Timothy Youngblood said, “along with vaping being an issue.”

Many teachers seem to be agreeing with the fact that there seems to be a serious problem throughout Utica, and this is one way to curb those issues.

“Obviously there’s a problem that needs to be addressed,” teacher Collin Syler said. “While this certainly isn’t the ideal solution, sometimes you have to work with the tools that you have.”

Closing bathrooms in a public school with hundreds of students is definitely not ideal, and students are starting to feel irritated.

“I have to walk across the school just to use the bathroom,” sophomore Mellisa Hormoz said. “Even with all these lockdowns, students still find a way to vape.”

The problem doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Some believe that the only way we can solve this issue is through positive peer pressure and a collaborative effort from both students and teachers.

“The ones who are not using the bathroom improperly need to exert positive peer pressure and make it known that improper use is unacceptable to the rest of us,” school resource officer Leslie Heisler said. “The responsibility of stopping kids from making bad decisions can’t just lie in the hands of the adults; the kids have to help, too.”

Although we don’t hear a ton about the status of the issue, Youngblood and the administrators are working quietly behind the scenes to get things back to the way they were.

“Students should know,” Youngblood said, “that we are trying our best to get the bathrooms cleared for students who are actually using them for their intended purpose.”

The scenes inside the bathrooms are not pretty. There’s fog in the air, people everywhere, and lines out the door.

“One thing that is definitely bothering me with all the closures is the lines we have to wait in just to use the bathrooms,” junior Rosemary Manni said. “I am always late to my classes because of the lines in the bathrooms.”

Some teachers around the school understand that their students might come in late because of the lines and are understanding of the situation.

“My teachers never mark me tardy,” sophomore Holly Hirmiz said. “When I walk in late, I let them know it’s because of the bathrooms and they fully understand.”

Hopefully this school year is a reminder to all of the extent the school’s administration will go to in order to ensure the bathrooms are being used for the right reasons, even if those measures seem ineffective or drastic to students.