Leesville Closes Half of its Restrooms

After multiple false fire alarms this school year, administrators have decided to close half of the student restrooms on campus at LRHS. (Photo courtesy of Noah Derucher)

At some point, everyone has had a class interrupted by a routine fire drill. It’s a normal part of a school week. However, for the 2022-23 school year, Leesville has been having fire alarms go off almost daily, and sometimes multiple times a day. 

What is causing all of these alarms? Vaping. This year, vaping has caused more problems than usual, due to the newer fire alarms added for the 2022-23 school year. Supposedly, students are being dared to stand on a toilet and blow the particulates of the vape smoke directly into the fire alarm, setting it off for the entire school.

Teachers have been monitoring the bathrooms, but it has not been effective, causing Principal Solomon to shut down half of the bathrooms. “This step is one that I have tried to avoid, given the ramifications that this decision will cause. However, with end of year testing and graduation related events occurring, this course of action must be explored in tandem with our teachers continuing to give up a portion of their planning periods to monitor the remaining restrooms we will keep open,” said Solomon.

While I understand that there are large costs of instructional time and monetary costs of fire trucks, I would say that I don’t exactly view this sort of policy to be effective. Firstly, the “closed” restrooms are covered with tape and have either a desk or trash can blocking the door. In addition, the fact that half of the bathrooms are closed means that students are inconveniently limited in which ones they can use.

Solomon has promised to explore other options for the 2023-24 school year and I sincerely hope he does. This should be a temporary solution, if anything, and there has got to be a way to balance the concerns of administration and students. 


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