Should Maine Schools Remove Bathroom Doors? Does Privacy or Safety Win Out?
According to the Sun Journal, Lewiston High School is keeping bathroom doors open using chains and padlocks in order to reestablish control over bathrooms. Open bathroom doors at the school is leading to questions of privacy for students, while school staff is trying to cut down on misuse of the bathrooms.
The bathroom is the only haven at school for students during the day who might need to change clothes, pull themselves together during a trying day or just go to the bathroom in peace.
Vaping has become a real problem in Maine schools, it is an addictive nicotine product that is not allowed, but that many students are still using in the bathrooms. Other concerns that have lead to the bathroom doors being kept open are bullying, cigarette smoking, phone use and vandalism. Without the doors adults can smell smoke and hear a student call for help.
Schools all over Maine are dealing with a decades old problem in different ways:
- Some new schools are building bathrooms much like what we see in airports. The doors are open but stalls can't be seen while passing by. These are bathrooms without doors, but that have walls or partitions for more privacy. They are more expensive to build.
- Bathrooms that are attached to classrooms have fewer incidences of bad behavior.
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