Boys bathrooms locked after continued vandalism



A destroyed closure sign hangs on one of the boys bathroom doors on March 28. The restrooms were closed after students kicked holes in the walls and ripped out paper towel dispensers.

Elliot Hernandez Sebastian, Staff Reporter

Vandalism has been rampant in the boys’ bathrooms and as a result, the majority of the restrooms in Buildings 1 and 2 remain locked. Vandalism has been an issue at Cleveland before, especially in the boys restrooms, but this year has been different.

Paper towel and soap dispensers ripped out of the wall, holes kicked in the wall, and even bathroom stall doors are ripped o their hinges. The vandalism has been so bad this year that Principal George Breland made an announcement about it over the intercom. The damage has cost the school at least $1000.

“We have to, in some cases, purchase more paper towel dispensers, and that comes out of our custodial budget,” said Bruce Shields, the head custodian at Cleveland. “If visitors show up and see that your school has holes in the wall, and graffiti on the side of the school, busted paper towel dispensers, what are they going to be thinking? They’re going to be thinking, ‘hey those guys are not disciplined.’”

Senior Fame Lerber called the boys bathroom closures “inconvenient.”

Shields simply wants students to take pride in the school.

Many students also take issue with the vandalism and the locked bathrooms.

“I just find it a disappointment in my school,” said senior Fame Lerber. “I had my whole day planned out: I’m on the third door, I’m about to go to class, let me use the bathroom. Nope, locked. Second door; nope, locked. First door locked. All of them are locked. How am I supposed to use them?”

Lerber said it is inconvenient having to walk to another building to use the bathroom. He is among the many boys with grievances related to the bathroom.

Sophomore Jonah Schur said bathroom breaks now take an unnecessary amount out of class time.

Sophomore Jonah Schur said the closures take away from class time

“When I need to use the restroom in the middle of class, you’re supposed to use the closest one, but the closest one is usually locked,” Schur said. “It takes like 10 minutes to go back and forth.”

Even with these complaints, Principal Breland maintains it is for the best.

“The reason that we close the bathroom is that sometimes it’s dangerous, somebody could ge

t hurt, or it’s just unsafe,” Breland explained. “Even though other students are inconvenienced, this is serious and we have to close it until it’s fixed.”

Principal Breland also commented that the vandalism is the worst he’s seen it since his first year at the school, and put out a call-to-action for the students at Cleveland.

“Most of our kids care about the school, and care about being here, and you need to grow up and be respectful,” he said. “I wouldn’t come into your house and do that to your family. I just think that when real change hap- pens, it comes from the students. I would love for ASB and student leadership to work with our students to come up with a solution. I’m all about student voice.”