PA addresses bathroom violations


Sage Fonda

Students abusing bathroom privileges led to the installation of steel gates.

Madison Hamel, Staff

PA administration has clamped down on students abusing their bathroom privileges.

Along with increased administrative monitoring of the bathrooms during school hours, steel gates were installed in front of the boys and girls public restrooms on each floor in the academic wing as well as the basement. The gates are designed to prevent graffiti and vandalism following numerous incidents this year.

The vandalism included broken stall doors and soap dispensers, as well as the intentional clogging of toilets.

Other problematic behaviors, including students vaping or skipping class, contributed to the installation of the gates, said dean of students Mr. Zmuda. “Some students are even meeting up to fight in the bathrooms,” he said. 

Since there are no cameras in the bathrooms, it is difficult for administration to catch and punish violations that occur. “It’s harder to catch,” Mr. Zmuda said. “The administrative team decided to put those up gates to make it easier to close the bathrooms when needed.”

Mr. Zmuda said the basement bathroom was first shut down  in November  due to graffiti. The bathrooms in the lobby were then shut down for several weeks, and caution tape was used to prevent students from using them. 

The gates also make it easier for the custodial staff to close the bathrooms when they need to be cleaned. “Even the bathrooms that aren’t in use need periodic cleaning,” said Mr. Zmuda. 

Bathroom closures have affected some classes.  Science teacher Mrs. Bryde said it adds an extra three to five minutes to  students’ bathroom trips, and students are missing instruction as a result. 

Since putting up the gates, some faculty and staff has noticed a decrease in vandalism, but vaping is still a problem.

“The gates will stay up as long as they are needed,” Mr. Zmuda said.