Bravery is one of the first words that come to my mind when thinking about this journey into the boys’ bathroom. The countless stories and horrors that have been whispered about the spot left an anxious feeling when first stepping into the bathroom that was just a couple steps across from where I would normally be.
The aroma of banana, mint and dried urine all stirred together and hit me at once, making me stop dead in my tracks. But it wasn’t just the smell that made me stop, it was the actual incapability to move my feet. The floor was so sticky it was like I had stepped in a puddle of mud. Except in this case the mud was yellow and so crispy, I could practically hear it crunching when I lifted my shoes to take a step.
The bathroom was downright disgusting. The sinks had water splashed all over from carelessly washing hands, mirrors were scratched up and the floor was completely covered with paper towels. Near the garbage can I counted at least 15 towels crumpled up.
To see a bathroom so poorly taken care of it made me wonder if I should even be shaking hands with another male in this school. The complete lack of common decency is incomprehensible. Just think about it, as high school students there should not be chimichangas from lunch left in the toilet.
Consider the custodians and the mess they have to clean. The school is already big enough. Having to clean up after students in the lunchroom, halls, and classrooms is a lot of work. Granted, cleaning the bathroom is obviously necessary, but why make the custodians put in the extra work just because you want to be irresponsible.
The sanitary neglect displayed in the boys’ bathroom is especially concerning with the COVID-19 cases rising in the area. Personal hygiene should be prioritized. The boys’ bathroom shows the exact opposite.
In Washington there have been schools closing left and right, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be making up school in spring break or summer just because we’re not staying sanitary. Hygiene is something taught since Pre-K and by the time you’re in high school you should be capable of cleaning up after yourself.
Even though I was eventually kicked out of the bathroom by Avi, I was surprised to find an open one in the first place. The times I have walked past the boy’s bathroom with the red paper that forbids entry was more than I could recall. It seemed like there was always a peepee-perpetrator on the run, waiting to strike and ruin another custodian’s day.
Instead of leaving you with a call to action, I believe a call to inaction is more important. Stop pulling soap dispensers off the wall. Stop pissing on the floor. Stop spoiling everyone else’s day just because you didn’t listen when your parents tried to potty train you.