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An insider’s view of public school bathrooms

(Images courtesy of Katie Smythe)

A school has the ability to spend millions of dollars on iPads, but not enough to ensure that the bathrooms are up and running?

First off, since when is having an iPad a necessity? You know what is a necessity? Going to the bathroom. Here at Mira Costa High School, if you even dare to explore the depths of the women’s restrooms you will find a lovely array of clogged toilets, soap-less-soap-dispensers, and stalls that are so broken down that they can’t lock, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to find a stall with a door still attached.

Why is the line in the girls bathroom always so long you may ask? HELLO, it’s because in a school of over 1,200 girls, there are only maybe five working toilets. Ever wonder why we always ask to go to the bathroom during class and get so worked up when teachers respond that “we should’ve gone at snack?” It’s because we know that during class is the only time, if we’re lucky, one of the five stalls will be vacant.

I am writing this article to address a problem that I’ve constantly heard my peers complain about over my four years in high school. A problem that is actually very important, has never been taken seriously. It seems, this is the last thing on any administrators list, but I know if they were forced to use the same so-called “bathrooms” that we are, by tomorrow we’d all be sitting on royal thrones. It’s not like this is only an issue in the girl’s restrooms, but being a woman, it’s all I’ve been able to witness. Ask any boy who also attends Mira Costa, and I’m sure he’d feel the same way.

I provided a few pictures below, taken with my phone of course, because let’s face it, it would be pretty weird if I just walked into a bathroom stall with a camera in hand. Imagine the looks. The photos show rusted, hardly-working sinks, forever-out-of-order toilets, and walls with the writings of my school’s poets. I hope that this article inspires people to speak up about issues at their schools. I understand that in retrospect to other issues this isn’t the most crucial topic, but it needed to be talked about. 

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