OPINION: Not all McIntosh bathrooms are created equal


Zack Stone

The pink lanyard that corresponds to the downstairs Wilksmoor hallway- students going to the bathroom from this hall must go to this location.

Zack Stone, Staff Writer

I, like the vast majority of students here at McIntosh High School, appreciate a well-maintained bathroom. And I’ll admit, if a stringent bathroom pass policy is what it takes to create this environment, I will unwaveringly support this plan. However, if the plan favors some students and situations over others, as I believe the one announced by the administration on Jan. 17 does, I cannot help but feel some hesitations.

In a brief summary, the new policy creates stringent regulations on how students leave the classroom. It introduces a standardized and formalized sign-in and sign-out system, bathroom passes/lanyards limited to one per teacher, and strictly pairs classrooms and hallways to bathrooms. Students now must physically sign out, take a lanyard, go only to the specified restroom, and leave only one at a time. Any infraction of these rules could result in detention or administrative action.

However, in my four years here at McIntosh, it has been made abundantly clear to me that not all bathrooms are created equal. With stalls ranging from pristine to missing toilet paper holders, locks or even toilet seat and sinks ranging from fully functional to lacking any combination of hand towels, soap or even water itself, the quality of the bathroom varies dramatically from location to location.

This being said, the new policy absolutely addresses many of the inequalities between these bathrooms. A portion of the flaws of our bathroom is created by a small number of students who vandalize this space, destroying ceiling tiles or wastefully discarding all hand towels. By placing limitations on the number of people who can leave the classroom simultaneously and keeping better records of who exits and when, students will have more responsibility for their actions and those few who do deface our bathrooms have a minimized ability to do so.

But that doesn’t change the simple fact that some McIntosh bathrooms just struggle. Even without a single student’s actions, bathroom utilities still aren’t equal location to location. Toilet paper, functional locks, water, and soap must be standards in every bathroom, and until these conditions are met, restricting students to one bathroom simply isn’t right.

I’ll be the first to admit, when I go to the bathroom at school, I don’t necessarily go to the one closest to my room. When deciding where to go, I factor into my decision both the bathrooms I know to be the cleanest and best stocked as well as those that are within my relative area. And I know other McIntosh students can do the same. I don’t go to a bathroom slightly further away to lose my own time in class or to vandalize a public space. I do so to be able to wash my hands.