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The Wingspan

The official student news site of Norristown Area High School

The Wingspan

The official student news site of Norristown Area High School

The Wingspan

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It’s Time to Finally Unclog This Bathroom Problem

Layshawn McLean
Toilets clogged are only one of the many issues students have had to deal with all year.

Norristown Area High School has been known these past couple years to have excessive incidents in the school bathrooms, specifically with them being unwelcoming or treated poorly. It is no secret that several restrooms have been defaced, filled with students sitting on the floors, vaping, skipping, writing inappropriate messages on stall doors, fighting, and overall leaving the bathroom filthy. While I may be graduating this year, can we finally do something about these bathrooms for the students in the coming years? It’s exhausting. 

A handful of students treat the bathroom as a hangout period during the day to vape, skip, fight, meet up with their friends, etc. The behavior in the bathroom is quite unsettling and not what you would expect in a high school with students who should be able to accommodate being mature and considerate. School can get exhausting throughout the year for everyone, but disrespecting the bathrooms by treating them like trash is both unacceptable and unnecessary. When most stalls are poorly trashed, students want to refrain from using the bathroom.

Both boys’ and girls’ bathrooms are constantly mishandled. Neither has access to paper towels because of the TikTok trend that trended worldwide named  “devious lick” which brought major trouble in the boys’ bathrooms. It caused soap dispensers to be dragged off of the walls, paper towels in the toilets, trash in the bathroom, etc. This trend originated on September 11, 2021, which caused major disruption to many schools. What a year that was, definitely not something I’d want to experience again. I don’t believe anyone would. 

John Spengler, a senior student at NAHS, has seen students stuff paper towels into the toilets to make them overflow on purpose. This kind of behavior clearly shows immaturity that is intentional and a lack of internal responsibility. Respect towards the school’s environment should be normalized, not the opposite. Bathrooms are meant to be used properly and treated with common courtesy. Students have the weirdest urge to trash it for no purpose.

Vaping has become one of the top issues spotted in both the girls’ and boys’ bathrooms. It has become so common that students often see it happening around them. This issue is mostly complained about by students thoroughly throughout the year. Let’s all be real, the vapes carry the heaviest scent containing different flavors that students bring into the bathrooms. It’s disgusting, and I wish students would leave it at home or just quit. 

The custodians at NAHS provide most of their work for the school, keeping students safe and providing a clean environment, cleaning multiple areas, so students do not receive any bacterial issues during the day. Every student has access to cleaning after themselves, it’s a simple decency. A clean bathroom helps prevent the spread of diseases and a healthy environment. 

Students are the only ones held accountable for bathrooms being in such a messy state. Some bathroom toilets are filled with toilet paper; in your head, you just wonder why people don’t flush. It barely takes a second.

The fact that teachers had to teach students how to use the bathrooms properly during second block felt like an elementary lesson being taught to high school students. 

On February 21st, teachers had an email sent to them to teach students how to use the bathrooms correctly during their second block. In high school, everyone should know the basics. It would be more useful if they addressed this situation more seriously. Students know how to use the bathrooms appropriately but they choose not to. Instead of letting students learn during that period, it took away that beneficial opportunity from their academics for all students to learn in their class.

Overall, the approach to these bathroom issues should be held immensely with various strategies rather than lectures. Inviting students to share their thoughts, insights, opinions, and solutions could give an idea to the staff on how they should approach fixing this situation. Involving students to have their chance to be heard with their actions and words could change things around more effectively. An additional possibility is to have teachers or faculty posted by the bathrooms could help stop students from doing wrongful actions in the restrooms. This might result in an improved environment, supported precautions, and expectations.       

We’ve had years to solve this issue, and it’s not getting better. I’m sorry to be leaving with the bathrooms in such a state, but I do think this is something students and the school can fix for next year that would make the high school an overall more inviting and comfortable place to be.                     

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    Faith HoisingtonMay 17, 2024 at 9:53 am

    I agree with this article all too much. The state of the bathrooms here at the high school is absolutely sickening! And yeah, the lecture about proper bathroom behavior did feel like something from when I was in kindergarten. But it feels like there’s nothing that we as the student body can do about it except hope that things will change.