Students At Venice High Confront Bathroom Closures

Kayla Wilson and Zoe Woodrick

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bathroom closures have been happening consistently at Venice High this school year, according to figures in Venice’s administration. 

Some feel the bathroom situation has grown worse recently and see it as disruptive.

Principal Cynthia Headrick said that closures in the Main Building and East Building are due to plumbing issues. The entire Main Building plumbing system recently had to be redone, leaving the all-gender bathroom on the first floor and several others closed. 

Headrick said that students have been responsible for the plumbing issues. 

“It could be one kid, five kids that are causing some of the issues,” she said. “They are flushing toilet paper and paper towels into the toilets and that causes the problem. That’s when we have to shut things down.”

Senior Lalainne Rendon finds the situation “chaotic.” She feels that it makes managing time during lunch and nutrition harder, having to wait in long lines that may sometimes last the entire break. 

“It depends on the time you go—at lunch, it will take half of lunch,“ she said. “It is packed, and the lines are from the actual stalls to the next building,” she said. 

Rendon said that she believes that it is unfair for many bathrooms to be closed, punishing students who don’t cause issues. 

“Does that really have to affect all the rest of us, those of us who really need to use the restroom and not play around?” she said.

There are often times Rendon does not know bathrooms are even open throughout the school day, which leads to wasted time trying to find bathrooms.

“I have to hit every single building there just to find an open, available restroom,” she said, “I’m missing more time in class, walking around trying to find a restroom that’s actually open.”

Senior Levon Lee said he feels that bathrooms get easily crowded when there aren’t enough bathrooms open across campus.

“In my experience, when I walk into a bathroom, there are times when there are just too many people,” he said. 

Senior Mikayla Nackman has Type 1 diabetes and finds herself using the bathrooms more throughout the day when her blood sugar is high. 

“It’s not that a teacher won’t let me go or not, because they know I have it,” she said. “The bathrooms aren’t open, so I can’t use them, and even in the nurse’s office, the bathroom isn’t working.”

According to several students, the situation on campus is difficult to manage. 

Assistant Principal Emily Bautista said the bathrooms that are consistently open are easiest to supervise simultaneously. 

“It’s a collective effort,” she said. “Security can only do so much. The students also have to do their part to show that they can responsibly and respectfully use our facilities. 

“Unfortunately it’s really challenging for us when we have all these restrooms available, and we have to close them because we have plumbing issues.”