Gaither Bathroom Lockout Over: Students Relieved


Hayley Greenlaw, Staff Writer


For the past few weeks Gaither bathrooms have been off-limits, excluding those in front of the main office, due to inappropriate activities occurring inside the bathrooms. These bathroom lockouts, although valid, negatively impacted students. The school has decided to unlock the bathrooms for now, but this leaves students wondering, “For how long?” 

A rule here at Gaither is that students aren’t allowed to use the bathrooms during the three lunch periods or eighth period, or within the first and last 10 minutes of class. With this rule, the already shortened passing periods from previous years and now only one set of bathrooms open, students found it significantly harder to use the restrooms during school.  

When students were given the opportunity to use the restroom during class, they needed to walk  down to the main office to be able to use one. This led to students missing  more class time than they would have if a bathroom near their classroom were accessible, and also made the wait time for other students in the class longer, since only one student is allowed to leave the class at a time. 

The wait times to use the bathroom upon arrival also became an issue, especially during lunch periods. The lines to use both the boys’ and girls’ restrooms extended out the doors.

The idea of every Gaither student using one single bathroom every day raises questions about cleanliness. This volume of students using the same restroom leads to sanitation problems, such as lack of soap or toilet paper.

The bathrooms being locked also presented a safety hazard to students. Locking all  bathrooms posed a safety hazard during lockdowns – students would lose access to potential safe locations.

Locked bathrooms also affected personal emergencies. Having to search for an unlocked bathroom took more time and prevented students from handling emergency situations in the best manner: quickly and easily.

One sophomore, who preferred to remain anonymous, had one such emergency after the bathroom lockouts began.  

“I felt sick to my stomach and I tried to open the door and it was locked, and I ended up throwing up on the floor because I couldn’t make it to another bathroom,” she said. 

Students at Gaither were upset and used the opportunity to voice their opinions on the  situation. 

“I think they need to find a better solution than locking the bathrooms because it’s just making students upset and could possibly lead to something worse,” said junior Krista Sylvester.  

“I’m so worried a teacher in the hall will ask why I’m so far away from my class when they ask for my pass. If the bathrooms were open, I wouldn’t have to rush or be worried,” said sophomore Kessie Harbor. 

Many students agree that the locking of the bathrooms inconvenienced students during the school day. Students even started a petition to have the bathrooms unlocked.

Overall, the locked bathrooms created significant problems for students, including  an inability to use their learning time to the fullest. With the bathrooms now unlocked, new questions have surfaced. What would result in the bathrooms being locked again, and how long would another lockout last? Were the original issues that led to this this lockout solved? Are procedures in place to minimize further negative impact? For now, the bathrooms are unlocked and the school day is back to normal. But as far as receiving answers to these questions, students will have to wait and see if this restroom situation has provided them any relief.