Santiago’s New Bathroom Policy

Abby Delgado, Staff Writer

As of February 14, Santiago High School has stated that they will be enforcing a new bathroom policy to prevent students from inappropriate behavior like smoking, drinking, vaping, and vandalizing. You might have heard this in some of your classes from your teachers. Earlier in the month, (Feb 14) teachers had a staff meeting discussing these new changes and shared this information. They were also sent an email that stated the new rules for the bathroom:

  1. During class, students will check in at a Kiosk at one building before entering the restrooms.
  2. During passing periods and lunch, additional restrooms will be open, and security will be posted at the restrooms
  3. Only 4 students will be permitted in the bathrooms at a time-limited restrooms will be available before and after school.
  4. Signs will be posted on bathrooms starting procedures. Signs will include a QR code that allows students to report unsanitary conditions or behavior issues.

Some students are upset and confused about why these changes will be enforced, others welcome the improvements. Although I, personally, agree that some rules should be enforced for the safety of others, I think some of the rules should be a bit more reasonable. For example, now only 4 people will be allowed in the restrooms at a time.  Some people like to have the company of others to feel safe in the restrooms, and even if there are only 4 people allowed at a time someone could still be smoking and taking a lot of time in the stalls. Although I do think that these rules are important and somewhat reasonable I think there are improvements that could make to them. I believe it would be very beneficial for everyone if the staff and students had a meeting to discuss some changes we can make for not only the bathrooms but the school in general to prevent the use of illegal substances.  Let’s get to the root of the problem – just not address a location where we can prevent students from using these substances.  For example, WHY are students vaping?  Why are they resorting to drugs?  I know we have programs available on campus to address the issues when students are caught with these substances – but I feel like if we more openly discussed them, as a community, maybe could get to the heart of the issue.

On Feb. 15, I spoke with Ms. Rincon (who teaches multiple ranges of Spanish classes at Santiago) about how she felt about the new changes going on. And she stated that “As a mother and a teacher I think that these changes are important and smart, considering how it’s unfair for other students who need to use the restrooms and have to deal with the smoke. ” She also said that the downside was how now students are going to have to wait longer to use the restroom. And after this, I spoke to a student who would like to stay anonymous, and I asked them how they felt about the new policy. They said that they are quite happy with this new policy because they personally have felt uncomfortable using the restrooms because “there were always people crowded in there smoking.” So it is safe to say that this change is definitely affecting others.

As of right now, this is all the current information we have on Santiago’s new bathroom policy.  Hopefully, we can make all students get on board with Santiago’s new plan to ensure everyone’s safety. We shall see as the year goes on how this new system will work and affect others in any way. Let us know how you feel about this new bathroom policy and what you want to change to benefit the school.