The New Bathroom System


On Friday the 18, 2022, Shaker students sat in their seventh-period class, anxious to hear the last bell ring to officially dismiss them for winter break. The intercom buzzed and Mr. Couture announced that, come Monday the 28th, it will be mandatory for students to have passes when they’re in the hallways, a sign-in, sign-out system will be employed at bathroom entrances. 

Initially, there was quite a bit of anger from the student body. Many felt as if their rights were being taken away and that progressively the little freedoms they enjoyed were being slowly taken away from them. 

Having talked with many of my teachers I realized that this new system did not just affect us as students but also the staff. Many teachers felt put out that they have to monitor students going to the bathroom because of the many incidents that have occurred in them. 

There has been vaping, destruction of property, vandalism, stealing and skipping taking place within the bathrooms. 

Earlier in the year, few students had taken to destroying property, vandalizing, and stealing things from within the bathroom due to a Tik Tok trend dubbed “Devious Licks,” a trend that may have seemed funny, slowly making students’ and Janitors’ lives harder. 

The Janitors are beyond stressed and overworked because of all that takes place within these bathrooms. Students fail to realize that their actions and the messes that they make don’t magically disappear. Janitors have to take time out of their day to clean up disgusting messes, scrub provocative drawings off of bathroom stalls, and replace things that have been broken and stolen. 

Students are also feeling frustrated, many have expressed that the bathroom is one of the only places that they could go during the day where they could just breathe. I have heard from fellow students that they have gone into the bathroom to make sure that they look okay in between classes, or to just sit in a stall and cry because of all the overwhelming feelings they feel during the day. A lot of the female student body has also expressed concerns concerning their menstrual cycles and emergencies that can occur, waiting for a pass, signing in, having to wait if there are three people already occupying the bathroom, and so on. 

This is not a pleasant situation for anyone involved. On Thursday waiting to sign myself into the bathroom I saw a student walk past me and ask the teacher at the table if the boy’s bathroom was open only to be visibly frustrated when told that he had to go to Upper M Hall if he wanted to use the restroom. As he continued to walk he turned towards us and said “I don’t understand why kids can’t just use the bathroom, I’ve walked to three other boys’ bathrooms before this and they all have long lines. I just want to relive myself.” Words that I and many others have expressed in frustration. 

Having to sign in and out to go to the bathroom feels very elementary and very shameful that students from the ages of 14-18 cannot be trusted to conduct themselves properly in a public school. 

Another concern that has been expressed mostly by upperclassmen is what to do when they have prep and have to use the bathroom, go to their locker, or talk to a teacher during their free period. Questions that still haven’t been answered. I’m fortunate enough to have three preps every other day and during my last period prep, I work in various teachers’ classrooms and often walk to the library, Writing Center, or my math teacher’s Study Hall to ask questions and discuss things and prepare for future clubs and meetings. I now cannot do these things that were crucial in my planning for the club and extracurriculars. 

I would like to believe that this bathroom situation will shake students and make them wake up and realize that they need to care for our school better. Often as teenagers, we believe that everyone is out to get us and has extreme tunnel vision, and because of all the new rules and regulations that have been added this year to prevent such poor behavior, it does feel that way. But please realize that if you are angry about this situation and you or others are abusing our school and its bathrooms, do a personal check and help get this fixed. You are not the only one feeling frustrated and maybe even violated, but we must work together to rebuild the trust between us and the administration. So don’t kick up a fuss, be respectful to the teachers and hall monitors, and please respect our bathrooms.