Closing bathrooms harms students

By: Grace Mundy

As many of us probably know, there has been a recent wave of closed bathrooms at the Granada Hill Charter Zelzah Campus. This new administrative action is a result of the vandalization of bathrooms throughout campus. As a way to punish those who have vandalized the bathrooms, the restrooms are now closed for everyone.

This concept of collective punishment may seem like a good ideaGirls bathroom at first. The basic principle is that if a group of people do something wrong, punish everyone to send a stronger message and hope that the perpetrators feel guilty or are pressured into stopping.

However, though it may seem like an effective idea, this method of punishing students is unfair to students. Every student can really only control their own actions. For this reason, we should not expect the students who are not vandalizing bathrooms to somehow change other students’ behavior. 

This method of punishment places unnecessary pressure on the students who behave and teaches them that they are responsible for other people’s actions, a lesson that can contribute to unnecessary guilt and pressure to change things they can’t control.

Most students don’t want their bathrooms vandalized. In addition, most students also want a convenient place to use the restroom. Especially at a school as large as GHC, bathrooms get crowded quickly during breaks. A small number of crowded bathrooms just encourages students  to spend class time using the bathroom to avoid spending their whole breaks waiting for the bathroom. This goes against the entire purpose of school, as it results in class time spent using the bathroom, something that could have been done during a break. This defeats the whole purpose of school in the first place, learning.

“I do not like it. Bathrooms are more crowded where they are open, so it takes more time to go to the restroom now,” junior Shayla Pham said.

Lastly, student messages in bathrooms may relate to student’s mental health. Though there is not much the school can do to help specific students, there should be awareness for mental health issues and means of helping them. If students are struggling, our first priority should be helping them.

“I’ve seen people talk about their feelings on in the bathroom stalls. We should help kids with their mental help,” Pham stated.

Closing bathrooms harms students more than it helps them, and places too much pressure on them. At school students should be worried about school, and not something as necessary as using the bathroom.