Wrecking the Washroom
March 10, 2022
Frederick’s bathrooms also are continuously being vandalized with racial slurs, inappropriate sayings or words, and even tally marks on types of people some think they’d like to date (this is the nicest way we could put this). Custodians are constantly having to sand off the areas of vandalism. It takes time to commit such vandalism, so it’s clear that this is linked with people hanging out in the bathroom.
Engraving the walls, the stalls, and bathroom fixtures is just something that no one wants to see when they walk into the bathroom. It makes the bathroom feel run down and unwelcoming. When it comes to inappropriate slurs, then it is definitely taken way too far. Keep in mind that students aren’t the only ones who use our bathrooms–when we have a game in the gym or a performance in the auditorium, other schools, parents, and even young children use our bathrooms and see the graffiti there.
Mr. Barela really despises the vandalism. “It really sucks because it makes our bathrooms an ugly place. When they etch it in with a sharp object, then I have to get my sander and I have to sand it out because that’s the only way we can do it. If it’s with marker or pen or pen or pencil or crayon or something like that I get some Goof Off. But it really just turns the bathrooms ugly.”
Andrew told us that perhaps the only vandalism worse than graffiti is outright breaking fixtures like the soap dispensers, toilet paper holders, and even sinks and toilets. They have even needed to replace some fixtures that students are stealing: at the beginning of the school year, a trend started going around starting on Tik Tok called “devious licks” where students would film themselves stealing, breaking, and vandalizing items in public places, most specifically in schools. This challenge led to a huge rise in school bathroom vandalism.
“The other day, these kids were mad that the sink wouldn’t turn on–[the automatic sinks and toilets] have these batteries that we need to change every once in a while. Well, they ripped the hose out going into the sink and flooded the bathroom. We had to lock that bathroom up for a few days. It sucks, but what else do you do in that situation? You have to block it off, turn off the water, and deal with it.”