Should LRHS re-open the bathrooms?

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Pictured is one of the several bathrooms that are shut down at LRHS. Having these restrooms closed has been helpful, but should Leesville reopen them? (Photo credits Kaylee O’Brien)

Over the summer, before the 2022-2023 school year, Leesville Road High School installed a new fire alarm system. 

This system ensured that Leesville would have the latest technology to detect possible fire hazards.

Along with detecting possible fire hazards, the new fire alarm system has been able to detect smoke from e-cigarettes and other smoking devices.

Although the Leesville community is grateful for the updated fire system, this system has also been highly annoying these past two school years.

Last year, the fire alarm would go off multiple times a day disrupting the school day due to students vaping and smoking within the school restrooms.

Fire alarms would interrupt students’ learning, lunch periods, AP exams, and more. 

Something needed to be done, so in May of 2023 half of the bathrooms at Leesville Road High School were closed down.

Hazard tape and trash cans were placed in front of the bathroom entrances making it impossible for students to enter. 

Along with this, teachers began working on bathroom duty meaning the teachers take turns monitoring who goes in and out of the restrooms. 

Having less restrooms open may have frustrated students, but it resulted in less fire alarms.

“Since there are less restrooms open, I have to spend more time away from class walking to and from the restrooms,” said Sarah Lynn Rajaratnam, sophomore.

Some students have been able to benefit from less fire alarms.

“Having the bathrooms closed makes the fire alarm go off less, so I get more time to do my work in class,” said Varun Medikonda, sophomore.

There was speculation over the summer on whether the bathrooms would be fully open during the 2023-2024 school year.

After a long summer break, students came back to school with only half of the restrooms available for use. 

Leesville started the school year where they left off; less fire alarms than before, but still some occasional alarms.

As time passed, the realization that the bathrooms weren’t going to open hit.

Students continued to wait in long bathroom lines and risked being late to class. Teachers continue to spend their time monitoring the bathrooms for over a year now.

Freshman at Leesville have never experienced a day with all of the bathrooms open.

Considering the number of fire alarms have significantly decreased from last school year to this school year, it is time to reopen the restrooms.

I understand that having restrictions on the restrooms has been able to fix the problem, but other problems have occurred since.

One being the bathroom wait time, especially for the female population at Leesville.

Leesville does not have the fanciest restrooms available for their students. On top of the multiple closed restrooms there are several stalls that are out of order 

“I can’t use the bathroom during passing periods. The lines are getting way too long,” said Leslie Torres, sophomore.

Along with this, teachers have to spend their time making sure students aren’t setting off the fire alarms. 

“Although having to work bathroom duty helps reduce fire alarms, it takes away time from my planning period,” said Mrs. Lyon, Interior Design Teacher.

I highly doubt that the admin would reopen the bathrooms for the last three weeks of this school year, however, there should be some discussion about reopening the restrooms for the upcoming school year.

There is no harm in trying a soft opening; opening the restrooms for a couple of weeks and seeing if the fire alarm problem begins to pick back up.

I am not the only Leesville student who believes that Leesville should reopen the restrooms. 

A poll posted by the Mycenaean shows that 94% of students believe that Leesville should reopen the bathrooms.

For the sake of Leesville’s students and teachers, it is time to reopen the bathrooms. 

If not now, then hopefully for the 2024-2025 school year.

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