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Some bathrooms locked at Stillwater High School after issues with vaping, vandalism

April 03, 2019 06:25 PM

Some students and parents are upset over new restroom restrictions now in place at Stillwater High School.

School staff said they are closing some bathrooms during parts of the day to address vaping and vandalism issues that have arisen.

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A petition to unlock those bathrooms has gathered nearly 1,000 signatures. But school officials believe they had to take these steps because the problem was getting out of hand. 

"It's pretty horrible," Michael Dollerschell, a freshman at the school, said of the situation. 

The matter was the talk around the hallways Wednesday.

"The bathrooms should be open, and they're not," said Hollie Mueller, a sophomore. 

"I think it will make it worse," added Del Eckerman, a junior. "There's a very wide majority of people who aren't doing anything wrong."

This bathroom ban was even causing a stir on social media. Dollerschell said an Instagram page has around 1,000 followers.

"You never expect something to go like that," said Robert Bach, the school's principal. 

Bach said some students don't feel comfortable going to the bathroom when negative behavior is happening inside. So to make students feel safe, they're diverting traffic away from the more secluded restrooms.

"It does affect everyone, we recognize there is an impact," Bach said. 

Bathrooms are unlocked between periods. Plus, a select few are open during class near the offices.

Still, this doesn't sit well with many.

"They need to find a different way to solve it," Mueller said. 

Members of student council met with administration Wednesday to talk about the issiue. 

"Integrating student voice amongst decisions throughout the school is one way we can move the district progressively forward," said Abdulaziz Mohamed, a senior student council member.  

Staff is eager to find a solution.

It's an inconvenience, and that's something that we have to work through with our students right now," Bach said. 

There's no timetable for how long the bathroom closures will be in place.


 

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Brett Hoffland

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