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Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Dec. 1, 2009

Bathrooms closed at lunch

by Mandy Xu, News and Entertainment editor
The bathrooms on the second and third floors are now locked during 5A and 5B lunches due to a new bathroom policy that began at the start of the second quarter, according to security guard Adrian Kelly. Building service and security workers implemented the new policy due to security shortages.

Second and third floor bathrooms were closed at lunch during most of second quarter. Wylie Conlon
Second and third floor bathrooms were closed at lunch during most of second quarter.
SGA President senior Alex Bae held a meeting with Principal Darryl Williams on Monday concerning the changes to the policy. Williams voiced his support of having the bathrooms open and fully functional in the near future and is taking steps towards this goal. "We've spoken to the admin about it and they're in complete agreement with us on the issue, so I trust the policy will make its way through in good time," Bae said.

Kelly maintained that the new policy is necessary, as the second and third floors are short on security during lunch time. "The majority of students hang in Blair Boulevard, and we are focused on keeping kids on school grounds," he said. "We have a shortage of security."

Blair staff speculated that vandalism and student abuse of bathroom privileges have also prompted security to introduce the new policy. "Most bathrooms are vandalized during lunch," Building Services Manager Yakubu Agbonselobho said. Economics teacher Brian Hinkle believes that the vandalism led to the new policy. "Supposedly, certain things have taken place like vandalism," he said. "So, they lock them up during lunch."

Custodian Marianne Christopher also noted that some students skip class in the bathroom. "A lot of kids hide out in there," she said. Security team leader Cedric Boatman declined to comment on other reasons for the new policy.

Contrary to informal policy requirements, second and third floor bathrooms are sometimes locked throughout regular class periods. "A lot of my kids complain, because they have to go to the bathroom," Hinkle said. Christopher, who locks the bathrooms, emphasized that the policy only requires building service workers to lock the bathrooms during lunch hours. "I open them 20 minutes after 12 [p.m.]," she said.



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  • no on December 1, 2009 at 10:18 PM
    where will i go now to drop my signature deuces?
  • bathroom user on December 1, 2009 at 10:36 PM
    I have narrowly missed defecating in my trousers many times due to this new, loathsome policy.
  • Sammy Deeee (View Email) on December 1, 2009 at 11:06 PM
    We hang out in the bathroom when we skip???
    where else would we go, the lunchroom? nah....
  • That skater guy on December 2, 2009 at 8:31 AM
    so we cant pee cuz they're enforcing closed lunch? nice
  • Staller Baller on December 2, 2009 at 2:55 PM
    The new policy that should be implemented is security officers having fanny packs that dispense diapers to any person in a fecal dilemma.
  • Senior on December 2, 2009 at 4:19 PM
    you know, i really wouldn't have a problem with this if the article's title was true. I rarely go upstairs during lunch so i wouldnt really need to use those bathrooms but no one unlocks them after lunch. During 6,7, and 8th period the bathrooms are still locked so kids on the 2nd and 3rd floor have to go all the way down stairs. this takes more time and we take longer to get back to class which still gets us in trouble
  • Har on December 2, 2009 at 5:46 PM
    Yeah, it's quite an annoying policy, especially when you're on the 310s hallway...

    That aside, considering all the storming off to presumably see a fight in the SAC today... I'm occasionally inclined to think that administration/security is justified in attempting to increase security, as long as they always try to lessen the impact on the vast, vast majority of students that aren't a security threat.
  • i'd like to pee kthx (View Email) on December 2, 2009 at 6:06 PM
    if they're only locked during lunch, how come i can never get into one after 6th or 7th... how about unlocking the bathrooms AFTER school? sure the majority of the school'll be home by 2:30, but for the rest of us stuck in there until 3 it's so annoying to have held it all the way only to be faced with locked doors and a bus to catch... no one's gonna be stupid enough to stay at school and vandalize when they can actually gtfo and go home.
  • Colin Wiencek (View Email) on December 2, 2009 at 6:27 PM
    The Washington Post just wrote an article criticizing the school administration for their bathroom policy. Maybe this will change. The administration will of course not listen to us lowly students, but may conceed that they were wrong when regional attention is brought to the issue. The article is poster here:
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/high-school/school-closes-bathrooms-becaus.html
    Read it and leave comments so that it gets more attention. I am tired of missing class searching for a bathroom and I believe that it makes everyone less clean meaning more sickness is spread throughout the school day.

    Also, the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County is fighting this issue as well. Show your support and we might get our "bathroom privileges," which I view as a basic right not a optional allowance, back soon.
  • a guy on December 2, 2009 at 6:33 PM
    bathrooms were locked at 12:40 today. had to go all the way down to the first floor just to pee. this is rediculous
  • p on December 2, 2009 at 6:54 PM
    that's a lie
    they keep em locked after school too so that people in clubs can't use them
  • e on December 2, 2009 at 7:26 PM
    I would consider using the bathroom to be a right, not a privilege. Also, I'm fairly certain that this policy is a violation of the American With Disabilities Act.

    This school gets more fascist every day...
  • stylistic popo on December 2, 2009 at 7:47 PM
    this is great that we're informed about it and everything, but there are way too many extraneous quotes in here.
  • disgruntled on December 2, 2009 at 8:30 PM
    Wow, I was wondering why the bathroom in the 210's hallway was always locked...

    So let me get this straight... locking the bathrooms on the second floor prevents people from skipping class because there's absolutely NO WAY they could use a bathroom on the first floor? Has anyone ever seen a security guard check that bathroom?

    So now everyone, including class cutters have to pack into half of the first floor... I'm sure that's a fire hazard, not to mention packing us like sardines is just GREAT for school spirit.

    Williams, maybe we'll respect the school when you start respecting us.
  • Magnet sophomore on December 2, 2009 at 10:23 PM
    I doubt that many students would care if bathrooms were really locked only during period 5. After all, most of us (although I must count myself among the exceptions) aren't lingering on the second and third floors during our lunch period.
    HOWEVER, not unlike everything that administration and security say, the policy is a lie. Some complain of bathrooms being locked before lunch; others complain that they're never unlocked after lunch. Bathrooms (particularly in the 10's hallways) all over the building are frequently locked during the day, and all bathrooms in the school except for one or two are closed after 2:15, making life incrementally more difficult for those who linger after the bell (magnet students, extracurricular-holics, etc).
    The afternoon/evening shift custodians are friendly, hardworking people. Unfortunately, the day shift janitors (i.e. the people who directly impact our day-to-day routines) collectively exhibit tyrannical tendencies. They remind me of that guy back at Takoma who yelled at us during lunch that "I'm not here to clean up after you!" No, sorry, actually you are.
  • Magnet junior on December 2, 2009 at 10:33 PM
    oops
    I forgot about that whole "you're in 11th grade now" thing.
  • NK (View Email) on December 2, 2009 at 10:54 PM
    The fact of the matter is that by leaving bathrooms locked, be it during lunch or at any time during the school day, the school is taking away from class time; where one could have just spent a few minutes going to the bathroom down the hall, one is instead forced to walk to the other end of the building just to use the facilities.
  • someone on December 2, 2009 at 11:03 PM
    hey guys... check this out: http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/1209/683642.html

    we got on local news too!
  • NetCast Online (View Email) on December 2, 2009 at 11:36 PM
    This entire system is corrupt. Where have you heard any place in the world that locks public bathrooms due to the fear of a lack of security?! Regarding vandalism, it is clearly noticable that the bathrooms have been vandalized frequently in the past during various times of the school day, not just during break period 5. It would thus make no noticable difference towards vandalism prevention by locking the bathrooms for a certain period of the day. (Why not just lock them the whole day, then?) If students hide in the bathrooms because they want to skip class, that's their problem. They will pay later in the form of credit loss. It is simply common sense that humans have a right to use the bathroom at any time that is suitable, especially given the proper facilities in this modern day and age.
  • NetCast Online (View Email) on December 2, 2009 at 11:40 PM
    And just a hint... if you happen to be around or close to Blazer stadium, the bathrooms right in front of the stadium are always open and don't have automatic faucets. They are also always supplied with soap and paper towels. By the way, the best faucets in the school are in the bathrooms at the western end of Silgo Creek Ave. (210s) because they actually give enough water.
  • RantMakers, inc. on December 3, 2009 at 8:52 AM
    This is not directed towards the writers of the article, but the administrators who support this policy:

    Something no one yet has pointed out- half the school is still IN CLASS during period 5. So if someone wants to, say, use the bathroom BEFORE they're locked during their lunch period, they can't, because for kids with 5A classes, the bathrooms are already locked. And kids who go to Academic Support during their lunch periods find that they can't go unless they get a pass to go all the way down to the lunch room. So if kids have a class 5A and then lunch 5B and go to Academic Support- sorry, you're out of a place to pee. Besides, the bathrooms MOST vandalized are the ones BY THE SAC- because the entire school is forced to use two single bathrooms for an hour and a half. Not only does this make them gross and noisy, they're constantly filled with people- so you could run all the way across the school and not be able to use them.

    And it's not just vandalizers you're punishing- most of the school does NOT draw all over walls- if we did, this school would look more like a freaky sharpie mural than the fairly clean school it is. It's not OUR faults that people draw on bathrooms- if you want them to stop vandalizing, then punish them some other way. Most of them vandalize using their full names, so it shouldn't be that hard. (Real smart, guys.)

    Yesterday there were TWO fights during 5B lunch. And guess where they were? Right by the bathrooms. So many people hang out by those 2 bathrooms by the SAC that it's almost impossible to move through the thick crowd- which ends up having kids knock in to each other and inevitably causing fights. Sounds like a safety hazard, right? Not to mention the chaos it causes in the lunch room- things spill and fall over as kids run by to see the commotion- just a bit more cleaning up for you :)

    What I don't get is why these bathrooms are closed at LUNCH. If kids skip in the bathrooms, don't you think it makes more sense to have them OPEN in lunch? No one skips lunch. That's ridiculous. If you have a 5th period class you'd skip in the SAC or outside- not that I've done that- but you already have security guards and cameras there for that and other purposes.
    And if you're gonna skip in the bathroom, the best one to do it in is the crazy crowded one at the SAC. So many kids are there, it's impossible to catch kids who are skipping. (Though why people hang out in bathrooms is really confusing to me. That's GROSS, guys.)

    So, based on that reasoning- WE SHOULDN'T EVEN HAVE BATHROOMS! They make people vandalize and skip and are a greater problem during classes than at lunch- so let's just close them all day! Why even HAVE bathrooms if we can't use them- let's just convert them all to classrooms and have more space and use less money- win-win all around! It makes more sense than what you're doing now- and this doesn't make sense at ALL.

    Vandalizing and skipping are a problem. But don't take it out on our bladders. Thanks.
    • senior on December 3, 2009 at 10:12 PM
      Excellent reply.
  • junior on December 3, 2009 at 6:31 PM
    ALL WE ARE SAYING, IS GIVE PEE A CHANCE
  • Blair Alumni (2008) Ajking on December 3, 2009 at 7:16 PM
    Wow yo...thats preetty bad...
    what if some poor kid is on the 3rd floor and he/she is urgent to go to the bathroom....he/she has to runn alll the way downstairs....ANd it will be crowded during lunch...
    no but really... this is not a great policy
  • Action on December 3, 2009 at 7:50 PM
    Blair students: Watch the video at this link to see how Jerry Weast will take action to protect students. He sends Deputy Superintendents and give them his "full backing".

    http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2009/10/footloose-comes-to-potomac.html

    The next Board of Education meeting is December 8th and Blair students need to be there to give public comment, just like the Churchill HS students/parents did when their play was cancelled. The Churchill students filled the Board room and got their play rescheduled.

    http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/boe/meetings/index.aspx#calendar
  • Blair09Alum on December 3, 2009 at 8:03 PM
    wow. this is just amazing to me. we've been on the news so much this year ['09]. Amazing. Locked bathrooms?? really? sto the madnes and let the kids pee. when i was in my senior year, i was pregnant and i ALWAYS went to the bathroom during lunch and if i didnt, i was DOOMED! what about the pregnant girls who need to go to the bathroom every 5 minutes?? they actually NEED the bathroom and just in general, keeping a erson from going ot the bathroom is wrong! what if they cant focus on thier work? then what? ughhh this school i tell ya.
  • SMOB? on December 3, 2009 at 8:53 PM
    The Student member of the Board of Education has a blog. Why isn't he writing about this issue? Why isn't he getting the bathrooms unlocked?

    http://mocosmob.blogspot.com/
    • Re: Janis Sartucci's Comment on December 4, 2009 at 2:43 AM
      Thank you for that blog, but this is a Blair issue and I don't think this is something our SMOB gets involved in.
      • Janis Sartucci (View Email) on December 4, 2009 at 1:22 PM
        A "Blair" issue? I went to Blair. When I went there it was a school in the Montgomery County Public School system - run by the Board of Education. Students have elected a representative. The adult Board of Education members speak up for their district schools all the time. Why wouldn't the SMOB speak up for students?

        Recently, Superintendent Jerry Weast proposed closing Monocacy Elementary School in Dickerson, MD. Their Board of Education representative is Judy Docca. Judy Docca was the Board member that introduced a resolution to oppose the closure. Her resolution passed.

        When the Churchill High School play was cancelled by the Principal 3 weeks before opening night the Superintendent sent an administrator to intervene and overturn the principal's decision - within 24 hours.

        How is a play worthy of the Superintendent & Board's attention but thousands of students denied access to bathrooms is not?
  • asd on December 3, 2009 at 10:21 PM
    Yeah like "Blair 09 Alum" said we should open up the bathrooms cuz all the pregnant people need to pee
  • Svoboda on December 3, 2009 at 11:02 PM
    The culture of the vast American prison-industrial complex is bleeding into our school. Resist now, while resistance is possible.
  • Blair 08 Alum on December 3, 2009 at 11:15 PM
    Since students can't use the bathrooms that have been built, I say it's an invitation to use William's desk as a bathroom. Sound ridiculous? So does telling people they can't use the bathroom during their free time. What next, students won't be allowed to ride the school bus because a few students vandalize buses? Students aren't allowed to have textbooks because a few students mistreat their books? Students won't be allowed to talk in class because a few students disrespect teachers?

    Whatever, I hope that the fact this story has now hit a nation-wide paper will cause Williams to realize he made a big mistake in letting security come up with this idea.
  • Sam W. on December 4, 2009 at 8:38 AM
    geez, guys, give the security team/administration a break. Its not their fault that the bathrooms are locked, they are just helpless slaves to the alien overlords who secretly dominate our government.
  • SweetD (View Email) on December 4, 2009 at 8:45 AM
    Are you serious? People skip during their lunch to spend time in the bathroom? Are you kidding me? Like I have class on the third floor and every day I have to run to the first floor borderline about to wet myself and your locking it because shortage of security guards and because people skip in there during their lunch?

    Like if were going to make up BS excuses can you at least make them good?
  • Alex mundy (View Email) on December 4, 2009 at 9:19 AM
    that day i really had to go the bathroom and its horible having to wait in line in the other bathroom
  • sophomore with rights on December 4, 2009 at 7:06 PM
    I'm just wondering... how much do extra security guards actually change the problem of skipping and vandalizing in the bathroom? I've never actually seen a security guard inside a bathroom. Then again, I've never seen anybody vandalizing the bathrooms, either, so ... I really hope the administration will be embarrassed by the media attention and change this preposterous and unjust policy.
  • xoimara sandsz on December 6, 2009 at 9:16 PM
    nbc,mc
  • u guys suck on December 6, 2009 at 9:24 PM
    why do u guys care for a stupid bathroom
    • junior on December 7, 2009 at 7:36 PM
      unlike robots like you humans have to pee
  • blurg on December 9, 2009 at 8:14 AM
    This whole policy is ridiculous and kind of offensive. They need to change this now!
    The whole logic behind this is wack. Who goes to the bathroom to skip during lunch? Answer: no one. They all go down to the first floor, obviously.
    And when has security ever checked bathrooms? In my four years at blair, I haven't seen them do that once.
    Its amazing to me that the admin would be so quick to make a change that limits our right (not privilege) to easy access to bathrooms, especially on the basis of such bad logic.
    Limiting 2814 students to 2 bathrooms for 5a-8th period in insane!
  • Thanks! on December 10, 2009 at 6:55 PM
    SCO, great job writing a high quality article, which eventually got publicized and hey-- the bathrooms are unlocked at lunch.

    That's quite an improvement in living conditions!
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