A sign and broom outside of a Carrillo bathroom (Photo: Rose Cromwell, The Puma Prensa)
by Alexa Rios, staff writer
Maria Carrillo High School restrooms, they don’t have the best reputation among students or faculty, often being characterized as dirty and poorly maintained. This is mostly because students don’t treat their bathrooms respectfully. They often throw food in the toilets, draw things on the stalls and use them as a place to abuse substances. The school is enveloped in a constant cycle of cleaning and repairing the damage done by students making larger-scale projects like replacing things such as hand dryers, sinks, and mirrors nearly impossible, even when they are in need of replacing.
One of the main issues with student bathrooms is that they are unsanitary due to items that shouldn’t be there being put in the toilets. I have personally seen both food and Gatorade bottles in toilets. The ground is discolored with unflattering yellow hues and the build-up of grime. Even “the cleanest bathroom,” as junior Logan Cheriff puts it, “still smells horrible.” He added, “The toilets are always clogged, pee is on the seats, and pee is on the floor.” It seems that even though the bathrooms are regularly cleaned, kids continue to quickly leave them in shambles again. As always, our janitors try to be on top of the situation and clean the bathrooms as well as they can, but students continue to be destructive.
One thing that stands out to me about the girls’ bathrooms is the lack of hygiene products. Don’t get me wrong, we have machines, but they’re broken. Another problem according to junior Sascha Burk-Chavez is, “There’s always clusters of girls standing around vaping, blowing around clouds of smoke.” She added,“Many students avoid using the bathrooms because of the people smoking in there.” People feel uncomfortable using the facilities while there is smoking within the bathroom.
Maria Carrillo Assistant Principal Andrew Campbell said, “They’re industrial bathrooms. It feels like a state park to me.” Many people, myself included, hate going to any public bathrooms because of the fear of something nauseous being found in one of those toilets. Those bathrooms are much like ours, as there’s toilet paper on the floor, there’s writing on the walls, and the lights are lined with filth. This school has been around for 26 years, and I feel like it’s time for us to have some bathroom remodeling done. As Campell puts it, “There’s always timelines on projects like that, like after X number of years they redo bathrooms.” However he confirmed that anytime something is broken, it gets repaired. One example of a repair Maria Carrillo Assistant Principal Albert Ettedgui gave me was the mirrors, which have been replaced again and again, but students continue to break and damage them. Campbell said that mirrors can cost up to a thousand dollars to replace. So the school is wrapped up in a constant cycle of costly repairs, barring them from the ability to begin any wished-for larger-scale remodeling project.
So what’s the end goal for this? Well, students should stop making a mess of our bathrooms, stop throwing food in the toilets and stop spilling orange drinks and peeing on the floors. The school itself should make plans to address certain issues such as repairing the broken hand dryers and counteracting the drug use. With these changes, our bathrooms can be something that students don’t dread using.