Restroom restrictions: are they truly the only answer?

Since the beginning of the school year, Parkdale has been restricting the number of available restrooms by locking most of them due to the mass number of students in the hallways and vandalization; but is locking them the only answer? 

According to TheAtlantic.Com, “Schools seek to minimize the amount of time kids spend in the bathroom during class to ensure that they get the most out of their instruction, and generally restrict students’ access to prevent misconduct in the restrooms, where kids tend to be unsupervised.”

Even though the administration may believe that locking the restrooms may minimize troubles in them, they neglect that some students may need to use the bathroom urgently. During the 2021-2022 school year, students began to speak up about the ongoing issue.

“There have been several times when I had to use the bathroom, but the bathrooms were locked, or it was a “no hall pass” day. This has been very inconvenient for me, especially whenever I’m on my period,” said former junior Katerin Machuca. “I have stained my pants before due to these circumstances. I know that they are doing these things to prevent people from skipping in the bathrooms, but it’s not benefiting the majority of the students.”

More students seem to agree that the bathroom lockdowns are hurting students who are here at the school for the right reasons.

“It’s an inconvenience because sometimes you need to use [the bathroom],” says senior Joanna Ventura Gomez. 

With the restrictions put in place, students are subsequently forced to use the restroom during their instructional time due to the mass amounts of students trying to use the same bathroom during the intermission between classes. Before students can voice these issues, they are often met with the good old questions, “Why didn’t you use the bathroom during lunch” or “why didn’t you use the bathroom before class?”

So what are some solutions?

Giving students a map of open restrooms is a potential solution to this problem. With students transitioning between classes, locating restrooms without the prior knowledge that they are locked in the first place can be challenging. Therefore, maps could lead to less traffic in the bathrooms.

“It’s really bad; when I go to the bathroom, I have to walk all over the school to find one that’s open,” said an anonymous Parkdale student. “But you know there’s always a lot of people in them.”

They can also start doing restroom supervision. Having a staff member like security stand outside the restrooms during transition can deter students from wanting to stay inside and committing unjust acts. According to, “the physical presence of a security guard, whether armed or unarmed, is a needed deterrence to crime and unjust behavior.” Placing security or other administration could be a great way to eliminate traffic and potentially stop vandalism in the restrooms. 

Restroom restrictions have been a plague in Parkdale, but hopefully, they will soon be a thing of the past.