Opinion: SHS Bathrooms Need an Overhaul


Samantha Moreno

A good deal of people overlook all of the so-called “traits” that the Springdale High School bathrooms withhold. (“Traits”, [a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person, but in this case a set of bathrooms]). (“Distinguishing quality”, [a feature or quality that differentiates one thing from another]). Nowhere along the lines of these definitions does it state that a trait has to be something bad, but it also never states that a trait has to only be something good. This happens to be great for the case of Springdale High School bathrooms because there are more poor-quality traits than there are good ones. It’s preferable to start off with the list of the more decent qualities of these bathrooms since it’s a much smaller list than the list of poor qualities. 

It’s common knowledge for Springdale High students to say that their school bathrooms get the job done. I myself, as a student from this school, can testify that in most cases, you can go in the restroom and do whatever it is that you need to do, then head on right back to wherever it is that you need to be. Another decent quality is that in most, but yet a little fewer cases, there happens to be running water, working lights, doors that sometimes lock, and the occasional sufficient roll of toilet paper. Props to them for that! But the harsh reality is that this is the bare minimum. I’m mindful of the fact that there are schools in the world that do not have these privileges in their school bathrooms, and in no way shape or form am I being ungrateful for what is in front of me, but we cannot justify settling for less simply because others cannot have more. Unfortunately, these are the only somewhat consistent traits that can be placed on the list of admirable traits.

If I were to state every poor-quality trait on this list, this would really feel like a never-ending article. So for the sake of your time and mine, only the more prominent poor-quality traits will be stated, but if you’d prefer to do some research of your own, feel free to take a trip to said bathrooms and make your own list, please research at your own risk. I previously mentioned that most of the time, you can go into these bathrooms and do whatever it is that you need to do. I say “most of the time”, because there are situations that will say otherwise. There are numerous times when I’ve entered the bathrooms and have encountered a broken ceiling, vulgar profanities written on the walls along with other acts of vandalism, inhumane odors, and the occasional sorts of bodily fluids and solids on the walls, seats, and floors. Let’s not forget the broken and missing toilet seats, some dysfunctional locks on the stall doors, and the stalls with the plain but frequent “out of order” signs. 

All of these very poor quality traits can potentially abstain us from using the bathrooms comfortably or just using the bathrooms at all. It has come to my understanding that there are plenty of students at Springdale high school that will take advantage of their bathroom access privilege and will add to this list with some “on-site” actions. Unhealthy and inappropriate actions, that if caught, could get students in serious trouble. These actions will cause the bathrooms to get closed down entirely for days, forcing students to walk much farther than they should have to. Some of these actions will happen more often than others, but in general, I, alongside many other students, am used to seeing these actions take place. Just because these actions have become normalized, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that it can be uncomfortable for some students to walk in on a situation like this. 

This list does not yet include the fact that many of these bathrooms need some desperate remodeling and renewal. Springdale high is a very old school and I love ‘the history behind it, but eventually, things have to change. Changes such as the ones that were made to the old aux gym and the history building also known as the Blatt Building. These buildings were recently torn down in replacement of a new gym and some new classrooms as well. Even though this is only my second year at Springdale Highschool, I can say that it was sad to see those buildings go, knowing of the long history both buildings had. Even still, the district still made the change. If this change was made to some of the first buildings of Springdale Highschool, why can’t a change that is much smaller, happen to a few school bathrooms here at Springdale too? In all seriousness, there are some things in these bathrooms that are just too old to be cleaned. No matter how many times someone gets on the floor and scrubs some areas they will always have that “dirty appearance” due to all of the ancestral filth that has built up throughout all of the graduating classes.

 In any public place such as a restaurant, park, or store, it’s universally known that the bathroom of said area is the dirtiest place you could be in. Because without proper cleaning, bathrooms will become breeding grounds for germs and bacteria that can spread all sorts of illnesses and diseases. If you walk into the bathroom of a public place and you can not only see but also feel the cleanliness of it, you can comfortably say that if the bathrooms are clean, then the rest of the area must be clean as well. A clean bathroom says a lot about a place, the same way that a dirty bathroom does. School restrooms that are poorly maintained or unclean show that the school doesn’t care about its students and it actually reflects poor school management and lowers people’s opinion of the school. This can also drive students to not use the restroom due to the poor condition that it’s in.

If I have to make one thing clear, it’s that the school janitors are not at fault for this at all. On the contrary, I think that they’re the ones that are keeping it from looking like an abandoned subway station bathroom. Our janitors are not acknowledged nor appreciated enough because, at the end of the day, someone is in charge of cleaning up those messes no matter how big they are. There are two groups of people who can be put at fault for all of this, those students who worsen this situation of poor bathrooms, or the administrators behind all of this. In my opinion, it’s both groups. Perhaps for the students, it’s a lack of respect for public facilities, laziness, lack of effort, or lack of discipline. For the administrators/district, it could be a lack of effort as well, a lack of help, or maybe they’ve run out of ideas, a lack of support, or a lack of money and sponsors. Whatever it may be, we need a change. 

I don’t know who will read this, and I don’t know if this will get to students or staff members, but all I know is that the change can start now. Maybe the administration won’t be able or willing to make a change but until a bigger change matters must be taken into our own hands. Us students can start the change, as a whole. We must be mindful of keeping the place clean and tidy. Remembering that just because you don’t have to clean your mess up, no one else will have to either. This is for our own health and safety as well. Truly ask yourselves what the point of an inappropriate action would be. I think Springdale High School is a good school but there is always room for improvement. Springdale High School is an old school but old should not equal dirty. Help realize the need for change, help make the change.