The Bathroom Pandemic

The Bathroom Pandemic

Evien Berry, Reporter

September 25, 2020

COVID-19 has overtaken the school and completely overshadowed the equally dire issue of the Spring Lake bathroom pandemic. Last year, a group of girls – probably freshmen – scratched curse words into the bathroom stalls and the peeing privileges of every other innocent student were suddenly revoked. Between classes, I would trek to the bathroom in the commons only to find the door locked. I would try the bathroom across from the gym to no avail. Finally, I would walk all the way down to the bathroom next to the freshmen hallway to find a line of ten girls in front of me. By the time I finally was able to empty my bladder, I would be late to class. Now, I am no stranger to tardiness. Three out of five school days I walk in late. However, whenever possible, I want to avoid the judgemental eyes of my punctual peers as I enter the classroom five minutes past the bell. There’s an uncomfortable pause in the lesson as everyone looks up to see me and my desk is, of course, on the other side of the room so I feel their eyes burning into me as I cross in front of the projector and my shadow is projected against the whiteboard. Okay, so maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. Not only were there issues within the girls’ bathrooms, but the boys were getting completely out of hand as well. Maybe the bathroom lockdown wasn’t completely unjustified.

The bathroom vandalism of last year has, at this time, been resolved. It’s tidy resolution has given way to an unprecedented array of new bathroom-related challenges. The major issue of 2020 is, obviously, the global covid-19 pandemic. However, it cannot be ignored that we, as a school, have found ourselves in a miniature pandemic of our own–once again related to the toilets. I can only speak on behalf of my fellow females; I have no idea of the struggles in the boys’ bathroom. In the girl’s, the middle stall is marked off with caution tape. This is, presumably, to help hinder the spread of the coronavirus. My issue with the closing of one bathroom stall is this: less people can use the restroom at a time, leading to us conjugating by the bathroom door waiting for our turn. And while the girls who actually have to pee are grouped by the door, the two girls using the stalls are scrolling through Instagram, hitting their JUULs, practicing tik tok dances, and scrambling to finish last night’s homework before finally emerging a solid five minutes later. It’s especially infuriating when there are four girls in one stall and it’s obvious they aren’t there to do their business. Therefore, my plea to my fellow females is this: please be courteous in the bathroom. Some of us really have to pee while the rest of us simply don’t want to be late for class. If you could please just utilize the stalls the way they are intended, we wouldn’t have a problem. I’m talking about the vandalism from last year as well as those of you taking your sweet old time in there, well aware of those of us waiting in line. I’m sorry to sound so curmudgeonly, but I just want to use the bathroom after class sometimes and not have to wait forever!

Now, to the faculty who decided to tape off the middle stall: what’s that about? I urge you to rethink the consequences of your decision. Shortened passing periods, bathroom capacities, and only two open stalls. It makes no sense to have the middle stall closed off, especially considering that the stalls are all divided by a partition and there’s a good three feet between each toilet. Come on, Spring Lake. Let’s get the bathrooms in order!