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The West Press

The West Press

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Let’s Talk Main Campus Bathrooms

Over the last few years, the quality and cleanliness of West’s Main Campus bathrooms have gone down the drain.
Lets+Talk+Main+Campus+Bathrooms

One of the most essential quality-of-life needs for schools is the ability to relieve oneself in a public restroom. Even if they aren’t the highest quality or most modern design ever, they get the job done and allow you to carry on with your day. Is there a point, however, when the quality gets so low that students feel the need to avoid the restrooms? Is there a time when the restrooms become so unbearable, that they are practically unsafe? As of late, the bathrooms at Lakota West High School have become so rundown and uncared for, that nearly 80% of students said they would purposefully avoid using them in a recent survey held by The West Press. When will Lakota clean up this mess and care for one of the most important student necessities?

Before we can even begin to assess the school bathrooms, we need to get inside and see what there is that’s become so bad. However, it can be a hassle depending on where you are in the building. In the Fine Arts wing of the building, both the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms are locked at all times, being declared as “teacher restrooms.” Not only does this block almost 20 classes from having a bathroom nearby, but also forces students to walk to the opposite end of the building where the quality of the restrooms is noticeably worse and often faced with overcrowding. If teachers simply used the restrooms originally made for them, students would have no problem with lines while trying to get to class on time. When that doesn’t become possible, the students are blamed for rolling in late, even though there weren’t many other places to go in a restroom emergency.

Another great place for students to use the restroom would be the Main Street restrooms, being the largest stretch of urinals and stalls the school has. Students, however, are not permitted to enter the bathrooms, which are reserved for teachers, since, under the school’s flawed logic, teachers outnumber the students by a large amount. (fun fact, they don’t!) Teachers rarely use the restroom since they are actively teaching in their classrooms, so why block the largest restroom in the building, and continue to close restrooms not just in the Art wing, but also bathrooms scattered in the main portion of the building? Riddle me this; If you have a line of 100 people waiting to use the bathroom, and there’s a 2nd bathroom next to it locked, wouldn’t you consider unlocking it so more people can relieve themselves?

Now that we have a way to enter the restrooms, a first look would immediately remind you why this article is so essential; Half of the sinks are broken, the toilets are leaking, and the stalls are without a lock. And of course, half of the hand dryers don’t do any sort of effective drying. How much worse could it get? If the schools can manage to fund Bibibop and phone pockets for every single classroom, surely they can provide students with working equipment in the bathrooms, right?

To argue against that point, the school might accuse students of being the reason to shut down the restrooms and trash them. Vaping tends to be the main subject of accusation, leading staff to close areas of the building because students can’t behave themselves. However, I ask how much of the school is participating in these acts. I understand that this is a common occurrence, but do the few who do it represent the 1000+ others who have no involvement in it? Does this justify blocking off the restrooms to stop 100 students, while the other nearly 2,000 wait it out and are forced to use the crappy toilets the school provides?

Finally, compensate for the problem, don’t further it. If Lakota wants to fix the issues with the restrooms, then understand how to stop the bad effectively and further the positives. Make the restrooms cleaner if you are going to shut them down. Understand the student-to-teacher ratio and make stalls more accessible. Allow students to relieve themselves without getting blamed for being late, and maybe this wouldn’t be such a problem. How does the school feel, knowing that throughout my 8 years at Lakota, it has been nailed in my head to avoid certain bathrooms in the building? How does it feel to know many of your students hold it in until they get home, possibly lasting for hours?

WE the students are not the problem; This time, it’s you. Restricting the restrooms further every single year just puts a damper on the school, turning more heads and angering more of the community. Is the current plan working? Sure, people can still use the restroom if they really need, but is the school showing they care about the quality of which students get to tend to themselves? Not in the slightest. Lakota: If your job is to put students first, is it the best idea to shut them out before they even have a chance to step in?

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About the Writer
Thomas Price, Website Manager
Thomas Price is a second-year student in Journalism who has been heavily involved in The West Press over the last school year. He participates in many of Lakota’s extra-curricular and in-school programs, such as being a member of the Hope Squad, Junior Board, Lakota West Drumline, performer in the Marching Band, and a Percussionist in Symphonic Winds. As a creatively driven student, Thomas is also skilled in many technical areas, whether through the use of photography, video design, or media creation. Through The West Press, he focuses on writing local news and opinion articles, giving daily insight into the good and bad West has to offer to its students and staff.

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