Student leadership needs to step up to clean up

Kennedy O’Gilvie Joplin, C. K. McClatchy High School

We all remember them, though we try to forget. The place where you had a good cry, where you skipped the third period, where the most small talk happened. 

They weren’t nice places to be. The smell is a mix between a strong stench of unpleasant substances and fruit (due to the extensive vaping that goes on in there).

The school bathrooms.

During the class elections in late March, the common promise to students was that the bathrooms would be improved. But since then quite the opposite has happened. Sinks have been destroyed, leaving only the sensor with no faucet. Supplies like soap, toilet paper and seat covers have been missing. Sometimes entire bathrooms are closed. 

The only improvement I have seen was a bottle of hand-sanitizer being placed in one of the bathrooms because one of the three sinks was not working.

I do not blame the custodians for the bathrooms’ poor condition. I blame our new student body president for making promises he is not able to keep, and school district officials for the lack of funding to keep bathrooms usable.  

A survey done by a company called Pedia Lax found that “nearly two-thirds (64.6%) of boys and girls ages 6-11 said they rarely or never poop at school. Further, nearly 40% always or often choose to “hold it in” rather than use the school bathroom.” 

I wouldn’t be surprised if bathrooms similar to McClatchy’s are the cause of that anxiety.

I wouldn’t be as mad if the stalls were just open throughout the day. I am not the kind of person to just, “hold it” and I will definitely use the bathroom at school. But I find that quite hard to do when there is always a long line.

The bathroom upstairs in the main building was closed for the rest of the school year in December, meaning that there were only two usable bathrooms in the entire main building of McClatchy High – with approximately 800 students in the building. 

Unfortunately, throughout the day, people are just hanging out in the stalls to avoid class. That can leave only two or three of the four potential stalls available (not counting the broken ones).  

I don’t have a problem with skipping class, but I do have a problem with people taking up space that could be making the line go faster. Maybe, instead of staying in the stall and making my bladder fight the long tedious and painful fight of holding my urine, students could step out and only go in the stall when they hear a hall monitor. 

Or, you can do what most students do – suck it up and deal with the teacher for the hour. Your report card and I will definitely thank you.