Stillwater students say 'Let Us Pee' after school bathrooms locked over vandalism, vaping

Students are pushing back on moves taken by school administrators.
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Students are at odds with administrators at Stillwater Area High School over a restrictive bathroom policy.

School officials took the step of locking all but a handful of bathrooms at the school during class time, in an effort to crack down on vandalism and vaping they say has been blighting the facilities.

But members of the student body have accused officials of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, causing innocent students to miss extra class time as they trudge further across the campus to find an open bathroom.

The policy has prompted a hashtag #LetUsPee to be shared on social media, while a petition calling on the reversal of the policy has accumulated more than 1,000 signatures.

"We were given no warning. Less than 2% of the students are vandalizing the bathrooms. Most of them being caught. Why punish the majority for the minorities actions, SAHS?" the petition says.

"What sense does it make to give students a reason to vandalize the bathrooms that are open even more than before? This new policy has personally affected mine and most students I know's learning, with up to 10 min. of class time being missed just to find a bathroom."

An Instagram account, @LetUsPee, has meanwhile compiled more than 2,000 followers and is serving as a rallying voice for Stillwater students.

In a message sent to parents this week, Principal Rob Bach said that the decision was taken as a result of a "recent rash of vandalism as well as the ongoing health epidemic of vaping."

Only single-stall bathrooms and bathrooms near the Pony Activity Center will remain open throughout class time, with the rest of the bathrooms re-opening during passing time.

Student Council members met with administrators on Wednesday to discuss possible solutions to the bathroom closures, with a school spokeswoman telling BMTN that there are plans to throw the debate open to the larger student body.

Speaking The Gazette this week, Bach said that the school doesn't have the resources to effectively supervise and monitor all of its bathrooms, and said he wants to "empower the students to take back those bathrooms."

But students told the newspaper that closing most of the bathrooms isn't an effective solution in a school with 3,000 children.

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