GL Bathrooms: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A graveyard of broken stalls and unflushed atrocities.

Mystery brown stains and an entire sink handle ripped off? Double whammy.

R. Butler

Mystery brown stains and an entire sink handle ripped off? Double whammy.

Green Level is a brand new school, and with that comes nice facilities. We are fortunate to have such new, clean, and modern spaces to learn in and live in during the school day. Unfortunately, despite Green Level only having been open since 2019, the bathrooms in particular have already been through the wringer. Students have been mistreating these spaces to the point of them desperately needing repair, and we’re going to take a look at why.

It all started last school year during the first semester when there was a certain trend going around on TikTok. The trend was dubbed “Devious licks” and inspired thousands of teens to film themselves stealing items off of their school’s property. The nature of this trend was absurd, as not only were the items being stolen outrageous (bathroom stall doors, TVs, clocks, etc.), but these students were filming and willingly posting online evidence of them committing these crimes. This trend became insanely popular, with its shock value being wildly entertaining for viewers. People could not quite wrap their heads around these teens having the gall to steal these items and then go on to brag about the “devious lick” they “hit” on their TikTok accounts.

This TikTok trend spared few schools and hit The Swamp last year. The most common target was Green Level’s bathrooms, with soap dispensers being ripped off the walls, faucets off of sinks, locks off of stalls, and more. We can assume that the bathrooms were the location of choice for this trend due to them providing students with isolation from teachers and staff members. Consequently, this alone time was used by some students to get away with criminal behavior. Many students can recall Principal Summers’ announcement where she denounced participation in this trend and made everyone aware of the real-world consequences of stealing school property. Most of the student body found this funny at the time, as it’s humorous to see a trend on TikTok actually begin to impact student life and have to be acknowledged by administration. Although, few foresaw the effects that this vandalism would have on coming school years.

A year later, the aftermath is ugly, as repairs have yet to be made to Green Level’s bathrooms. Though, this is not at all to assign blame to administration. Aside from the stolen items of last year’s fiasco, the bathrooms have continued to be treated with disrespect. Students are being rough with stalls, toilets, and sinks and are leaving their messes for others to clean up. Students should be treating these facilities with decency and not expect to be sheltered from the consequences of last year’s actions. There is a multitude of other things the school has to worry about that aren’t another bathroom stall or faucet being broken each day.

Every time someone enters a bathroom at Green Level, there is a new atrocity to be met with. Whether it’s a #2 someone so generously left for another person to flush, used feminine hygiene products being left out, trash left in the urinals, messages written on the walls, or something far worse, there is a consistent theme of students not taking responsibility for themselves. Other than biohazardous waste messes being left uncleaned, there is much structural damage that students are continuing to do to the bathrooms as well. Being rough with stall doors by slamming them causes locks to break or fall off, door hinges to not work properly, etc.

Kennedy Riggins is a captain of the Green Level Dance Team and has to use these bathrooms to change before games. She expresses her concerns about Green Level’s restrooms: “For one, people don’t know how to clean up after themselves. Two, why are you taking off the doors? I’m trying to change in privacy, and it’s like wide open. I go into the bathrooms every game day to change. We have to like, go across the globe to go to a different bathroom because the one near the Arts Hallway is always disgusting, or there are no working doors.”

All Green Level students can relate to at least once going to use the bathroom and being met with the stall door not closing. Students should not be roughing up these facilities to the point where people have to get their friends to hold the stall door closed for them. Some people’s disrespect for communal spaces should not impact the privacy of others.

Additionally, many students forget that we have only a couple of custodians who have to clean the entire school. This is why we need to do our part to keep our spaces well taken care of. Perhaps some students are so entitled that they expect to be able to carry on leaving messes and damaging school property, and then have these bathrooms be in perfect condition the next time they use them. This isn’t plausible for our custodial staff, nor our administration in charge of facilities. Treating the bathrooms like this is not a sustainable way to conduct ourselves, as it isn’t considerate of their time or the school’s resources. Green Level junior RJ Irvin, has some strong feelings about the state of the men’s restrooms in particular: “The boy’s bathroom smells like [redacted], looks like [redacted], and people cannot aim so there’s pee all over the seats, all over the floors. And then you just find weird stuff everywhere. To top it all off, the doors don’t lock, and there are some missing stall doors.” RJ’s experiences go to show that the student body needs to be more conscious of how they treat school grounds, so as not to make the custodial staff’s job harder than it already is.

Aside from mistreating the bathrooms themselves, some students have been especially inconsiderate of others they share these spaces with. Many Green Level students, especially those who use the women’s restroom, can relate to often seeing a group of people sitting on the floor of the big stall, vaping. These larger stalls are meant for handicapped students who need extra room. The fact that not only are some students using these stalls for extended periods of time but are prioritizing their nicotine use over the accommodations needed by some students is unacceptable.

Students are always kept in check by staff for how they treat spaces like the cafeteria, but there is little talk about the damage they do to the restrooms. There have been school-wide announcements made asking students to clean up the messes they leave after lunch, and there’s been a significant improvement in cleanliness since these. If everyone was a little more mindful and considerate of fellow students, custodial staff, and others impacted by their actions, there’s no doubt we’d see an improvement in the state of Green Level’s restrooms as well.