Please Unlock the Bathrooms, I gotta go!

Zoputa Difini, Staff Writer

It’s 6th period, I’m sitting in class doing my work when the first signs of trouble begin to show. I feel my stomach shifting, moving an unseen fluid around. Next I hear my stomach groaning – not from hunger but something worse. That’s when it happens, a small fart releases and I smell the faint scent of the jerk chicken I’d had, glazed with brown stew and extra jerk sauce. I have to go.

I am on the second floor in the math hallway, so immediately I run out of the class with the pass, sprinting to the closest bathroom. I push the door but it doesn’t budge. It’s locked. I run all the way down the hallway to the bathroom. Again, I push, but the door doesn’t budge. Locked again. I have one more chance. I run downstairs to the bathroom right below the floor I am on. I get there relieved, and push the door. Nothing. It’s locked too. It had gotten to the point I couldn’t run anymore.

This incident made me wonder why so many bathrooms are locked. There are 2,000 students in this school, so only having a few bathrooms open seems illogical to me. Clearly, some thought went into the design as the bathrooms have been placed strategically near classrooms to allow kids to get get there quickly and get back to class. However, when  bathrooms are locked, students are forced to walk around the building – which can take more than a few minutes – in order find one they can use. It’s not professional.

In school, our main purpose is learning, which means  everything we do must be purposeful. All we do at school is with the goal of furthering our education and, simply put,  constantly closing bathrooms lessens the seriousness of this goal, instead causing discomfort and a lack of professionalism. School’s are a business, so doing school work for seven hours a day is our job. What business do you know that locks its bathrooms? Do you  think Fortune 500 companies restrain their employees from using the bathroom? A bathroom isn’t a privilege, it’s a right, a freedom, one that is clearly being limited in our school.

But it’s not the school’s fault. While I know this topic upsets many students, we would be wrong to assume administration is doing this for no reason entirely. In fact, it can be said that we’ve brought this upon ourselves due to some students abusing this freedom. “Restrooms are locked because it’s a security concern,” says PB Security team member Mr. Lawrence. “People tend to use restrooms, due to their seclusion and privacy, as a haven for heinous activity.”

“When you limit the areas where potential mishaps can happen, you limit heinous activity.” He’s right, this is the administration’s way of protecting the school. However,  they’re only protecting the school from a few people who choose to abuse this freedom. When they lock bathrooms, they punish us all.

When creating rather aggressive, yet effective punishments, I believe there is no need to lock bathrooms, no need to deprive those who abide by the rules of simple acts like relieving themselves. So, the administration should try to find some other ways to solve this issue. However,  it is also up to my peers to hold themselves to a standard that calls for them to understand that school is an institution for learning, an institution that is going to be impactful in our life, not a place where foolish activities can be committed behind the close doors of a bathroom.

This might not seem like an important cause on the surface, but  if something that seems so minor like bathrooms can be taken from us, who’s  to say something bigger can’t? So, I say open the bathrooms back up, punish those who deserve to be punished, and allow the vast majority of the student body to have basic access to a place that we all need.