The Hatters' Herald

Editorial: Bathroom vandalism must stop

A+toilet+in+the+D1+girls%27+bathroom+remains+out+of+action+until+the+city+repairs+it.+The+delay+in+repairs+to+student+bathrooms+is+due+to+an+understaffed+city+maintenance+department+and+insufficient+budget.
A toilet in the D1 girls' bathroom remains out of action until the city repairs it. The delay in repairs to student bathrooms is due to an understaffed city maintenance department and insufficient budget.

A toilet in the D1 girls' bathroom remains out of action until the city repairs it. The delay in repairs to student bathrooms is due to an understaffed city maintenance department and insufficient budget.

Gillian Brown

Gillian Brown

A toilet in the D1 girls' bathroom remains out of action until the city repairs it. The delay in repairs to student bathrooms is due to an understaffed city maintenance department and insufficient budget.


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The bathrooms of DHS have adopted a fairly negative reputation in the past years. With garbage bags covering clogged toilets, soap dispensers consistently empty, and many other inconveniences, a bathroom trip is often stigmatized as an unsanitary and displeasing experience.

Students often place blame on the custodial staff for the conditions of the bathrooms. “Why can’t they just stock the soap? Why can’t they just unclog the toilet?” are questions that students make small talk over as they wait for one of the two working stalls in the D1 bathroom.

The answer is simple: when students tear the bags of soap from the dispenser and throw them on the floor, the custodians don’t necessarily feel the need to replace them. When students clog the drains by throwing pens into them or food wrappers, the custodians have to submit a work order to have the pipes fixed.

The system at DHS is not the same as the ones we’re used to at home. When the toilet clogs in the comfort of our homes, we can simply break out the plunger and usually all is well. However, Principal Dan Donovan explained that the pipes from the toilets go back an estimated 20 feet to connect to the building’s main sewage. This means when a pen clogs the drain from 15 feet back, city maintenance personnel must come to repair the damage, which can take hours of labor and even constitute removing a toilet.

The fact of the matter is that students should not be throwing junk into the toilets, breaking the soap dispensers, writing on the mirrors and other acts of vandalism. In fact, the mirrors were all replaced just two years ago after the previous ones had been vandalized. Upon entering the bathrooms, that almost sounds like a joke. In the average bathroom at DHS, at least one mirror is dismounted, broken, scratched, or written on.

The bathrooms will continue to be treated badly if they are already in poor conditions. With the opening of the Freshman Academy, Donovan said he hopes that the vandalization of the bathrooms will decrease. Considering that the bathrooms in the academy will be completely new and modern, his hopes are that they will remain unscathed by vandals.

It is Donovan’s goal to repair and renovate one bathroom in the school per summer, but with the current treatment of them it appears to be a waste of money. There are only two maintenance men hired by the city of Danbury to facilitate work throughout all city buildings. If the schools needs to call them every other week with a new issue regarding the state of the bathrooms, does it make sense to renovate them? Will that change anything?

To have access to the bathrooms, the student body must make a conscious effort to maintain them. It is simply not the custodian’s job to check every bathroom after every period to ensure that nobody threw their lunch in the toilet. If we wish to see a change, we must evoke one.

Editor’s note: Written by Taylor Hay; edited by Editorial Board

 

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Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800
Editorial: Bathroom vandalism must stop