You are sitting at your desk waiting for the teacher to start a lesson. After tuning out the robotic voices around you, the P.A. turns on for the usual morning announcements. An administrator has announced the closing of a student restroom due to vandalism.
With the closing of one restroom, that would leave 11 restrooms left for the entire student body, punishing students with one less restroom.
According to the California Department of Education, we attend a school with over 4,600 students. We cannot afford to have one closed restroom while there are already too few restrooms available in general.
Every day students struggle during nutrition and lunch to use the restroom as the lines are always too long. Students often spend the entire 12 minutes of nutrition just waiting to get into a stall. Something else students will try to do is use the restroom during class to beat the crowds, but missing important details about a lesson is always worrisome.
According to the 2016 California Building Code, there needs to be 1 toilet per 50 males, 1 urinal per 100 males, and 1 toilet per 30 females is needed on campus. There also needs to be 1 sink per 40 per person.
There are currently six restrooms for boys and six restrooms for girls on campus. This does not include P.E. and staff restrooms. Some restrooms are near certain classes which can help students get to the restroom quicker, while other restrooms can be further away, which is inconvenient for students.
In total, there are 66 toilets for the whole student body of 4,600. There are 33 toilets for girls along with 23 toilets and 10 urinals for boys, not including one closed male restroom.
This may seem like a large amount, but in reality that is not enough toilets and restrooms for a large student population, which is growing every year.
When one or more restrooms are out of order, either due to vandalism or plumbing, this can really harm all students who need to use the restroom on a daily basis. It can lead to longer lines during nutrition and lunch meaning that many students who need to use them will not be able to.
With more restrooms closed, more students will be forced to use them during class and miss out on lessons. There are some teachers who do not allow students to use the restroom during class. Others make use of the restroom pass, which means that students have a limited amount of restroom passes, but if they choose not to use them then they receive extra credit points that boost their grade at the end of the year. Neither of these situations is fair to the students. Especially with as few restrooms as we have on campus, teachers need to be more understanding about students’ needs.
Still, closing restrooms due to vandalism is unfair because this transgression is not a good enough reason to reduce the number of restrooms available.
Granada Hills Charter High School was founded in 1960. The school was built on construction codes that are now almost 60 years old. Today, the atmosphere of the school has completely changed. There are now larger crowds and a culture that has grown over the years to demand efficient use of time and daily punctuality for academic achievement.
The school’s continued academic achievement cannot be compromised or diminished by forcing students to either choose using the restroom or staying in class. To better serve students, the physical environment of GHC must step into the 21st century and provide a healthy infrastructure to go hand-in-hand with academic accomplishment.