Santiago High School's Student News Site

Shark Attack

Santiago High School's Student News Site

Shark Attack

Santiago High School's Student News Site

Shark Attack

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Students Thoughts on Santiago High’s Bathroom Policy

What will students say when they are asked the question; “What do you think about Santiago’s bathroom policy?”

What is the Bathroom Policy?

Santiago High School recently added a new rule to the bathroom policy. The bathroom in the E building is now the only one for students to use. In addition, students are required to sign in through Minga in front of the E building before entering the bathroom. This policy was made to prevent students from using the bathroom as an excuse to vape/smoke, meet up with friends, or skip class. The new policy allows staff to ensure bathrooms are used for their intended purposes and to keep students safe, but this has caused many students and parents to complain about bathroom access and wait times.

Interviews:

I interviewed a few students and a staff member, asking them, “What do you think about Santiago’s bathroom policy?” Here are the responses:

One of the security guards in charge of the restroom check said she believes this new policy helps maintain order on campus; “I think it is good to know who is passing through; it helps out.” Seeing who is walking around campus and when allows staff to secure campus and create a safe learning environment. Contrary to this staff’s opinion, many students think otherwise about this bathroom policy.

(10th grade) Finny Dixon says this about the bathroom policy; “I feel like eight minutes isn’t a reasonable amount of time because near the end of the day, even though we’re not out fifteen minutes, there’s just a really long line, so we can not possibly get through in eight minutes.”

(9th grade) Adrian; “It’s just not good. I have a certain amount of time to use the restroom, but it’s not enough.”

(10th grade) Iffat Bholat; “I think it’s really dumb because if I need to go really badly, I have to go make a minga pass, go all the way to security, and then find a bathroom, and I usually only ask to go when I need to go, and I can’t hold it in for that long, and it’s really tedious.”

(10th grade) Arianna Cruz; “The bathroom policy is a little bit tricky at times, but I feel like it ensures the safety of our campus. I could say it’s like, a little annoying, especially with signing in, and there’s a huge line at times, but overall, it’s fine, and I don’t get bothered by it much.”

Now let’s see what some students said about the bathroom policy through a Google form:

(12th grade) Anon: “Wait time takes too long. The bathrooms always have people who don’t go in to use the bathroom, which holds up the lines. There’s no paper towels. It can smell like smoke or vape.”

(12th grade) Anon: “Not enough bathrooms open, so the lines are extra long. It’s also inconvenient when I have to waste time walking across campus because there are no bathrooms next to my classroom. There is also never soap.”

(12th grade) Tina Ngo: “The lines are so long, and most of the time, scanning in for another time with the security guard takes too much time, especially when you’re so close to the bathrooms.”

(12th grade) Anon: “Lines and wait times are fine. I like the policy because most kids are now forced to go straight to the bathroom and straight to class, but the problem is that 99% of the rest of the school does not like it because of that.”

(12th grade) Ella R: “I dislike that many bathrooms are closed and having to walk further to find an open bathroom. Also, I waste close to 1-2 minutes of bathroom time having to type in the teacher’s name for a bathroom pass, then find a security table to scan, and then my “8-minute pass” is 6 minutes, which doesn’t account for if there are any lines. I’ve waited over 15 minutes in line at the bathrooms this school year.”

(12th grade) Anon: “I highly dislike the long wait times/ lines, especially because the vaping (etc) issue they’re trying to solve isn’t resolved this way. I’ll walk into the bathroom, and even if I’m first in line, I’ll wait several minutes until a girl walks out of a stall she used smelling strongly of vape. Additionally, it’s annoying knowing that 3 other bathrooms could be used when I’m standing in a line of 10 girls.”

(11th grade) Anon: “I dislike that teachers get upset when students have to use the bathroom during class, even though the lines during the passing period are huge. Eight minutes isn’t enough time to use the bathroom, especially with the long lines. I also think scanning in before using the bathroom is useless.”

(12th grade) Anon: “Dislikes: long lines, only one bathroom is open and most of the time it has a broken stall, there is never any soap, the pad/tampon holder doesn’t have anything in there (why even have it?).”

(12th grade) Anon: “I don’t like how only one bathroom is open for the entire school. I know it is helpful in some cases, but it isn’t fair to the overwhelming amount of students who might need a restroom.”

(12th grade) Anon: “I dislike the number of people in the bathrooms just hanging out, nothing else, but waiting or meeting up with friends.”

(12th grade) Anon: “Well, personally, the 8 minutes you get on Minga is not enough time for the amount of time it takes to actually get into the bathroom because the lines are so incredibly long, and usually only one bathroom is available.”

The statistics:

All students interviewed had complaints about Santiago’s bathrooms, with the exception of two students. Most of the sources of complaint were that the time we are given to go to the bathroom isn’t enough and that the lines are too long. Even some of their parents state that the lines are so ridiculously long that students are barely given enough time to use the bathroom and still get to class on time. But do people really have to wait in lines that long? I tested this theory by going to the bathroom at different times, for example, before school, after school, during class, lunch, and passing period.

The graph to the left shows how long I waited in line 10 separate times. The shortest time I’ve had to wait in line was 56 seconds (during class), and the longest time was 7 minutes and 17 seconds (during lunch). The average wait time was 2 minutes and 64 seconds, but remember that this is the wait time alone. This doesn’t include the time it takes to make a minga pass, walk to the bathroom, scan your pass, use the bathroom, and walk back to class. On the occasions that I went to the bathroom during class, It took me at least 1-2 minutes to walk to the bathroom, wait in line, and walk back to class. That means that at least 5 minutes have been used out of the 8 minutes without including the time needed to use the restroom. What’s more, I waited in line multiple times to be greeted by some stalls with locks that didn’t work and smelled like smoke, and sometimes the stalls were overcrowded because people were using them as a meet-up spot. To make matters worse, when you come out of the bathroom, most of the time, there is no soap in the dispenser, making the long wait in line seem like a complete waste.

While we may have fewer bathroom fights and less smoke in the bathrooms, the problems still exist.  If the school wants to continue with such a short passing period, we just can’t rely on using the bathrooms during passing periods – we have to use class time.  If teachers would prefer us not to use class time, and we need to stick with the 8-minute passing period, then the school needs to be sure that no one is vaping/ meeting up with friends in the bathroom instead of adding new rules that students will disregard. Maybe give us more time, or even open another bathroom to reduce the long lines to prevent students from being late to class.

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About the Contributor
Johana Lopez, Staff Writer
Johana Lopez (10) is a current Sophomore at Santiago High School. Johana’s favorite subjects are Psychology and Journalism. Johana graduates in the year 2026 and hopes to get into a good university on a scholarship. They enjoy reading, writing, and learning about new things. Johana has always loved to write. This love of writing began in elementary school. The school held an event where the students could participate in a competition where they write stories and turn them into a group of people called “The Little Workshop”. This group would then act out the story of the winners and act them out on stage. Johana would always have fun writing these stories as anything was a possibility. Although they never won, it was a fun memory that they could cherish. This student hopes that their efforts will help them get a job as a criminal psychologist and they will be able to help their family in Mexico along with the children who need help.   You may reach them at [email protected]
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