Trouble in the Rest Rooms?

There is admittedly an issue in the restrooms at Triton. What is the solution?


By Aiden Szymanski and Cam Neary

Staff Writers


Here at Triton, bathrooms have become a hot topic amongst students and faculty. Many students view the bathrooms as a place to socialize, ditch class and engage in foul play, while the faculty have been tasked with the prevention of that so that students that actually want to use it for its intended use can do so.

“What happens is it creates an atmosphere in the bathroom where kids who really actually need to use the bathroom to take care of bathroom business feel intimidated or afraid to go in there,” said Triton Spanish teacher Michael Vanderslice, whose classroom is located directly across the hall from the first floor boys bathroom. “It is obvious that there is a group of students who are vaping, abusing drugs, hanging out, using the bathroom for purposes other than taking care of your bodily functions.”

“Sitting on the floor, in the sinks,” said Triton math teacher Heather Walter when asked what she typically finds students doing in the bathrooms when she has to disperse crowds. “Some people want to just go to the bathroom and get out.”


The unanimous feeling amongst faculty is that this issue must be resolved, but how? Many difficulties have arisen this school year over how to stop the problem, especially when certain students prove to be intolerant. One anonymous faculty member admitted to having been sworn at when they were trying to disperse a large crowd in the bathrooms.


Teachers responded with varying results when asked about their thoughts on several possible solutions.

One potential idea was to introduce faculty that would work as full-time hall monitors in the school, to ensure that students were not misusing the bathroom. Some members of the faculty had doubts as they thought back to hall monitors from previous high schools, and others were more-so open to the idea of a bathroom monitor than a hall monitor, which could be more useful in crowd-control scenarios,

“We need to do something and I can tell you that, again the administration and the teachers are talking about what to do to solve the problem.” said Vanderslice when asked whether he felt hall monitors would solve the problem. “Would we benefit by having a bathroom monitor, somebody to sit there and check students as they went in and out? Yeah. Do we have the staff for that? I don’t know, probably not… I think a hall monitor certainly could help, a bathroom monitor would really cut down on the issue.”

Walter was indecisive as to whether or not hall monitors would solve the problem. “We used to have hall monitors who would hassle the kids even if they weren’t doing anything wrong,” said Walter, reciting the hall monitors of her previous high school.

“At certain times of the day, it wouldn’t hurt to have a bathroom monitor…” said Mr. Kurt Riese, an aide to Ms. Carla Wagner who often manages crowds in the bathrooms. “I don’t see groups of kids walking the halls… you don’t need a hall monitor for that. What you want is a group control…,”


Another idea was to have more district police in the building.

“I think you do, something with authority,” said an anonymous faculty member when asked whether the school could benefit from more police. “In other schools [the students] actually have to swipe in to go to the bathroom.”

“I think when it comes to police officers, that it is important to not think about it as that they’re combating issues, more that, like, you as individuals are learning who the police are,” said Elizabeth Pachecho, assistant principal at Triton, who believes that students could benefit from building relationships with police officers.


A final idea was to increase the punishment infringed upon students caught engaging in foul-play in the bathrooms.

“I don’t believe in punishment,” said Riese, who believes increased punishment is not the solution. “I think you need to correct kids, and show them the right way and talk to them. I try to convince them not to do the same thing, but if you catch a kid vaping and send him home for the day or something like that, that’s not going to stop it.”

“Discipline is not a one-size fits all. It’s progressive discipline… where are we at? What did we find? When we’re disciplining students it’s kind of like a big picture thing, you know? I wish it was black and white, but it isn’t always black and white.”


So, what do the students think?

“If you want to go smoke some hibbity-jibbity in the bathroom, you’re going to do it no matter what,” said senior Evan Mace, who doesn’t feel there is necessarily a solution to the problems in the bathrooms.”

“Unnecessary,” said junior Jack Harden on the foul-play in the bathrooms. “It is not needed at this fine school.”