The School Bathrooms Halloween Spirit

Juliette Damian, Staff Writer

The best Halloween decorations go to none other than the school bathrooms! The eerie discomfort behind these doors is sure to drive any visitors out in a frightening matter of seconds, wishing they never even stepped foot into the ghastly place we all call our school bathrooms. With its appalling smell, and its surprising weekly Halloween decor, one thing is for certain; you may not have the best time in there, but you sure will get a good spook out of it!

Seriously though, why are our school bathrooms so gross?– A question that has been lingering in all of our heads for a while now. Almost anyone I ask has some sort of unusual sightings and experiences at our school bathrooms,  so to top off our Halloween season, here are a few scary stories brought to you by none other than the students of Santiago Highschool.

“One time I walked into the restroom and there was the foam soap and water all over the floor and walls like a slip and slide.”- Nick Gomez (10).

“Sometimes, there’s blood on the toilet and floors of the bathrooms, and period pads are stuck to the walls. It’s gross.”- Hayden Sarmiento (10).

“There are soap dispensers in the urinals, and one time there were just chairs by all the sinks and urinals. One of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen had to be that one time a granola cup was filled with poop and smeared on the walls . . .” -Caden Snitker (10).

“There’s always at least one toilet that’s broken in every bathroom, only one sink that’s working, and that one is probably clogged and overflowing with gunk water. The floors are always wet and filled with dirt. The school bathrooms are one of the worst places to be.” -Natasha Dhamsania (11).

“One time every single urinal was clogged and there were pools of pee with vapes in each urinal.” -Aarush Kochar (10).

“Some girls soaked period pads in water and threw them on the stalls. Another time the bathroom sinks were clogged and water was spilling out of the sink onto the floor. The water was also grey and murky.” -Chloe Kim

That being said, our school bathrooms are in horrendous condition, and for it to be a common utility, it is a great indecency to the student’s daily lives. School bathrooms in general can be described as unsanitary, but there has reached a point where the word unsanitary exceeds its expectations. It has become trashy, filthy, and disgusting to a point I would even understand why it isn’t being taken care of. This reveals that the poor conditions of these bathrooms are pertinent to the immaturity of students– so at what point does it become the student’s responsibility to keep them nice?

Although it is not a student’s job to clean the school restrooms, one’s own hygiene should be considered because these public restrooms exist for the sole purpose of cleanliness, not for the complete opposite– vandalism. With intentionally unflushed toilets and plugged sinks, toilet paper thrown around, trash on the floors, and writing on the stalls, the blame is pointed toward the students; and these few people are who ruin it for everyone and present the poor quality of hygiene in our restrooms just for the fun of it. In a study conducted by the Society for Women’s Health Research, up to 84 percent of school nurses reported that students leave the classroom “for reasons other than to use the bathroom” and that 58 percent of students misbehave in the bathroom. It is important that students recognize these problems.

Therefore, the point in which students’ own ignorant actions reflect the state of their very own bathrooms is when this issue becomes their responsibility. Due to these particular individuals’ insensitivity, not only does it affect their own personal hygiene, but the others around them as well, and that is something many do not think of when vandalizing the school restrooms for “the fun of it”. Students who want nothing more than to use public restrooms for their own cleanliness must deal with the disgusting sights caused by the immaturity of some young individuals– but even those with Hygenic respect can attribute to keeping our school restrooms clean by informing the custodial staff of a particular issue that is beyond the student’s control to manage.

On the contrary, is it fully at the fault of the students when other school bathrooms are kept in better shape than ours? I have been to almost every high school in the district for sports events, and our school bathrooms were proven to be on the more unsanitary side compared to others. Not only were other school bathrooms significantly more clean, but also larger, and more sufficient. For instance, Corona High schools restroom was three times more sanitary and had three times as many stalls as any of the restrooms at Santiago High school; not to mention, they had working sinks, working toilets, mirrors, filled soap dispensers, and clean floors– Is this too much to ask for in a public restroom? Either our school bathrooms are not being handled well or paid enough attention to, or Santiago has chosen the wrong bunch of students when it comes to hygienic respect.

One way we can improve our school bathrooms as a community is students getting involved in the cleaning effort if that means informing custodial services or bringing awareness to restroom cleanliness, as long as you are getting involved or speaking out on the conditions of our school bathrooms, it is a great service. Having a student council or student involvement committee that could cover this topic could also help to improve our school bathrooms. When students become involved in the cleaning effort, they will likely feel a larger sense of responsibility to keep that space clean. From throwing away trash to flushing toilets and turning off sinks to stopping vandalism, there are many ways for students to foster a sanitary restroom space.

With that being said, no student wants to experience these sickening situations; Halloween is overdue, and it is time the Halloween decor in our school bathrooms is taken down, it is also time for students to move on as the seasons do and stop fooling around in the restrooms. It really doesn’t benefit anyone.

The school bathrooms are a lingering, substantial topic, that is discussed extensively but never acted on. There is an obvious sanitary problem with our school bathrooms and an obvious need for change. Halloween has passed and so should our spooky-themed bathrooms.