Locking Restrooms – Is This Right?


Photo depicting students rushing into the 400 building bathroom which was currently open at the time.

Sophie Bright, Feature Page Editor/Copy Editor

As students, we sometimes get told by teachers “Why didn’t you use the bathroom during lunch?” The answer to that question is, we can’t always do that! 

Here at Millikan, the administration has frequently needed to lock the student restrooms during lunch because unsafe activities have occurred such as vandalism, fires, or simply just messes.

Assistant Principal, Mr. Ashley states, “We do shut the bathrooms down when there is something inside that is inappropriate for students whether that is tagging, fire, something broken, or on occasion if there is a very large mess.”

In turn of locking the bathrooms, we are stripped away of the right and expectation we have as students to use the bathroom during our free time.

I understand that administration is not intentionally locking the restrooms and it’s strictly to keep us safe, but what happens when a teacher holds a class after the bell?  What if a student has an urgent need to use the bathroom and it is closed? Most of the time there’s a line waiting to get into the bathroom’s that are currently open and you don’t even have the chance to go before the bell rings for next period!

An anonymous student stated “[Some] people have to choose between food and using the bathroom.” This is also not fair to students; lunch is our time to get all the things done we haven’t in class and we are essentially choosing between two things: using the bathroom or eating. 

I feel that locking us out of the restrooms takes away an often right we are provide as students to be able to use the bathroom freely during our lunch period.

“I see the main issue being people who are making the bathroom unsafe for other students. If that wasn’t occurring I don’t have to close them. I close them out of necessity, not out of want,” says Ashley.

It’s really only a small percentage of students that are abusing their rights of the privacy of a bathroom. I do respect the faculties’ decision to close the bathrooms when necessary, but the majority of students actually need to use the restroom and aren’t just using the bathroom as a place to do something against the rules.

Ashley finished by stating, “Our main goal is to make sure we have safe, open bathrooms for our students so first: safe, second: open.”

Another instance where the bathrooms have been locked or out of order due to misbehavior.