BY BRENDEN BARLETT
In late September, Wadsworth High School was struck by a streak of vandalism within its boys’ bathrooms. With seven bathrooms total, excluding locker rooms, there was a point in time where only three were open for use. The 1400 hall’s bathroom was repaired and reopened on December 12, after closing in early September. Currently, the administration is working towards repairing damaged equipment in the remaining bathrooms.
Mr. Sieber, vice-principal at Wadsworth High School, said that the administration has plans to re-overhaul each of the boys’ bathrooms over the duration of the next few weeks.
“Our intent is to buy stall walls and doors and stuff that will hopefully not be damaged by students,” Sieber said. “It took a while to get the pieces and parts needed in, especially for the 1400 hall’s bathroom because it received the most damage.”
According to Sieber, around 14,000 dollars were spent while replacing broken equipment and purchasing the necessary renovations for the boys’ bathrooms.
“The downside is we would like to use that money on other things, but we have to have our bathrooms functioning,” Sieber said. “It’s easy for us as a staff because there’s a bathroom in every other hall that we have access to. You guys are supposed to have 1500, 2500, 1400, and 2400 hall bathrooms. It’s a different layout with how the bathrooms are.”
The maintenance department has recently begun the installation process of the new equipment. They started by making the necessary repairs in the 1400 hall’s bathroom, followed by the 2400 hall’s, and have since moved on to the 1500 hall’s bathroom.
“For me, I don’t understand what the fascination is with vandalizing something to the point that you know you can’t use it,” Sieber said. “We can’t use the restroom, and we have to shut it down because it’s not safe to have kids go in there, and from a privacy stand-point you guys don’t want to have to go in there and use a facility and not have privacy while you’re using it.”
Sieber hopes students will take better care of each of the bathrooms after the remaining repairs are complete, as he believes students and staff alike are lucky to have the building they have.
Still, he understands why there is a sense of frustration among the boys at the high school.
“I hate walking half a mile to use the bathroom, and I really think the nonsense needs to stop,” said Jaxon Dorland, a junior at Wadsworth High School.
Despite the frustration amongst many boys in the high school, Sieber knows how unlikely it is that any of the students will report one another for damaging the bathrooms.
“I know kids don’t wanna rat [other] kids out, but at the same time, too, I don’t expect kids to go up and confront other kids, and I certainly don’t want that to happen,” Sieber said. “I think a lot of times with our peers, they realize from our other peers that it’s not the right thing to do.”
As of now, the high school’s administrative staff and the maintenance department continue to try and discover new methods that will help keep the bathrooms both open and safe. While they know they can not make them vandalism proof, they hope they can limit any future damage to the bathrooms.