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100 Hall Bathrooms: Beneficial or Detrimental


On January 3rd, Gloucester High School students returned from their winter break, and the new 100 hall was open for teachers and students. When the new 100 hall was open, the bathrooms caught the students’ attention. As you may know, the new 100-hall bathrooms aren’t separated into boys and girls anymore. There are now 14 stalls, with 7 for girls and 7 for boys. 

However, many students aren’t happy with these bathrooms because they feel uncomfortable sharing a bathroom with the opposite sex, especially if they have experienced trauma like sexual assault or rape. It may be especially difficult if students are in the same bathroom as their assaulter. Many female and male students completely avoid the bathrooms during their time in the 100 hall; they wait until they can go to one of the different bathrooms. Many parents advise their children to go before class or after, but this can become difficult.

It’s worth noting that the bathrooms are placed near the main office and have cameras placed outside the stalls, giving a view of everyone who enters the stalls. One teacher states, “It’s good to ensure students aren’t passing around vapes or other substances.” The completely closed-off stalls ensure that students can’t crowd into the stall and pass stuff around. The cameras can benefit as they are placed in view of the stalls; therefore, the only place not being recorded is the inside of the stalls themselves. 

On the other hand, some would argue that these bathrooms infringe on the privacy of students. Many female and male students see the bathroom as a safe space to have private conversations about subjects related to their gender, family struggles, and other personal business. After I brought up the subject of students not having the comfort to hold private conversations, one teacher stated, “That’s kind of the whole point.” It poses the question: do teachers and staff truly believe students shouldn’t have a right to hold private conversations?

When interviewed, one female student stated, “I get that there are certain conversations we shouldn’t be having at school, but some are unavoidable. For the kids that don’t have a good home life, can school even be their safe place to share anymore?”. Some would argue that the students should be having these conversations over text or off-school property. But what about the students who don’t have phones, or who could possibly be put in harm’s way if someone at home regularly checks their phone? As for discussing these topics off school grounds, what if students aren’t allowed to leave home or have people over?

These bathrooms have both beneficial and harmful factors, but it depends on which side you look at them from. The school has already spent an undisclosed amount of money on these renovations, and these bathrooms have already been built and finished. So, in the end, there is no changing what has already been done. But could other measures be taken to help students feel more comfortable in these new bathrooms? In contrast, are these measures even necessary to take?

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