Bathroom Policy a Work in Progress


As of January 30th Curtis created a new bathroom policy that requires students to show their Student IDs and sign in before entering any restroom in the building.  In addition,  the locks were changed and no teachers or assistant principals were given the new keys. 

When asked about the new policies, Principal Jaenicke explained,“many of the  bathroom policies were already in  existence but  had  become lax and have now returned in response to an outburst of vandalism that was making  the bathrooms unsafe, uncomfortable and unclean for students.” This is frustrating for students and is especially  difficult on the  custodial staff. 

“We haven’t had any more serious vandalism issues since reintroducing the bathroom policies,” said Jaenicke. 

This  policy, however, has been viewed as controversial, many students feel as though this policy  is  invasive.  The bathroom sign in and id check are not the only protocol implemented in recent weeks; there are new orange-colored bathroom passes, and the  locks have been changed with only school aides having access. Now, even if they wanted to, teachers and assistant principals can no longer open the bathrooms for emergencies, such as a student who is menstruating or someone about to vomit. 

A junior, Charlotte Togba, shared how she couldn’t use the restroom for four periods straight.  In early February Togba, who has her first four classes in the 17 wing, found the bathrooms locked and without an attendant. Charlotte did not have time to make the journey to the restrooms by the cafeteria because she was afraid of missing too much class time. She did end up eventually making the trek. Charlotte referred to this as a “big inconvenience”, and rightfully so. Students are not only missing class time due to the longer distances they have to cover to relieve themselves, but there are also very long lines where there are open bathrooms. Togba even suggested, “if the bathroom is not going to be open during certain periods, at least let students know.”

Even a teacher in the new building, Ms. Abramo, agreed that while a new bathroom policy is necessary, not having the bathrooms open for the first few periods is very inconvenient and “there should be a change in the time bathrooms open in the 17 wing.

When Jaenicke’s learned of Charlotte’s story, he asked how recent this was, and explained how he and Mr. Barbano, Assistant Principal of Security, have been working to implement these new policies and welcome feedback and suggestions of how they can adjust the policy  to make it better. 

One of the reasons many students had trouble finding open bathrooms is because when the policy was put in place, it was a struggle to find staff members to implement the new policy but now they have gotten enough staff to supervise bathrooms, so this issue has died down, according to Jaenicke.

A sophomore, Adrienne Daluwattage, brought a new perspective when she said, “I do see why this new policy was made; students have been acting out.” 

“There are rules for a reason; they are meant to be followed,” said, Ms. Birchard, who teaches science.  Birchard shared how changing the color of bathroom passes is also necessary, since students have been caught stealing the old passes and roaming the halls. 

Mr. Crowdell, AP of math, offered an even more insightful perspective, “it’s all about training, now students don’t even try to use the bathroom unless the bathroom attendants are there, so I guess it’s working in that sense.”

Understandably, many adjectives have been used to describe the new policy, such as “horrible”, “dumb”, “disgusting”, “stupid”, and “terrible.” In short, the students were not for this new policy when it was first reinstated in January but as the kinks are being worked out there the complaints have died down.