The Student News Site of Renton High School

RHS Hawk Eye

The Student News Site of Renton High School

RHS Hawk Eye

The Student News Site of Renton High School

RHS Hawk Eye


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RHS Restroom Crisis

You may have noticed that the restrooms at Renton High School have created a day-to-day struggle for RHS students for a very long time. Many students have complained, expressed how they feel, and explain what they have seen regarding the unacceptable conditions. “The restrooms are a necessity…if these necessities are not met, students are going to be a lot more uncomfortable and give a reason to not go to school,” Hanna Delele expressed. Nine other RHS students represent their need and show the importance of having accessible, reliable, and functional restrooms throughout a student’s school day. 


(2nd floor RHS female restroom.) 


Maizey Wheeler (RHS sophomore) listed the key problems of the restrooms: ¨A lot of the toilets don’t work, the hand dryers need to be fixed, the doors don’t lock and need to be fixed…the sinks aren’t working and need to be fixed.¨ One common problem in the female and male restrooms is the lack of cleanliness. Raymond Richards (RHS sophomore) states, “I feel like the restrooms are very trashy. They are not really nice; they are not clean. They need a lot of work.” Some examples are food/beverages left on toilet seats & on the ground, items are left in the sinks, soaked feminine products are thrown on the walls/ceilings, and lots of dirt/mud is brought into the restroom. On top of that, there is also a lack of restored toilet paper, vandalism, and poor ventilation. Another problem, especially in the female restrooms, are the broken locks and inappropriate large gaps in the restroom stalls. Sheila Magana (RHS sophomore) explains, “We need to be secure in them because for me, it feels uncomfortable entering a bathroom that can’t close a stall.” Anyone outside of your stall can easily invade your privacy, including the person in the stall next to you. In addition to the stall issue in the female restrooms, they also face the problem of unavailable restrooms. Treynisha Sanders (RHS Sophomore) says, “It’s frustrating because a lot of restrooms are closed…I feel the boys have advantages, like all their bathrooms are open, and all the girls’ bathrooms are closed.” Females are facing more crowded restrooms and are having a difficult time searching for a restroom throughout the whole school. Although the males do have more available restrooms, they still face needed changes.  For example, installing mirrors, wider stalls, and better windows for ventilation. 


(Windows at the 2nd floor RHS male restroom.)


Many students are urging the staff/administration to find ways to fix the restrooms, especially in order to make them comfortable, available, and clean. Tameren Smith (RHS Sophomore) wanted to say to the staff/administration: “Take the bathroom more seriously. Even if people go in there to do whatever, not be in class, there’s [more] people who actually need to use the bathroom.” Students who are creating problems in the restrooms should not be the only people considered. There are many more students who simply need to use the restroom, and they use it responsibly.  Solutions that staff/administration have made to prevent the issues occuring in the restrooms are affecting the students who are not causing any trouble at all and making it more difficult on them. Lea Hughes (RHS sophomore) tells us, “Skipping or vaping in the bathroom isn’t gonna stop. By limiting the number of bathrooms we have, people are gonna skip and vape in there [too], and [other] people aren’t gonna be able to use the bathroom.¨ Limiting the number of restrooms available only crowds the few open, and the vicious cycle continues. 


(Picture of 2nd floor female stall, shown with a large gap and a broken lock.) 


Teyah Gilbert (RHS junior) suggested to staff/administration to put mirrors in the hallways, not just in the bathrooms, and to check the plumbing at school. Teyah says, “So students are not just taking pictures in the bathroom because there’s only one mirror … and students do need mirrors so they can see what they [look] like, so they can feel their best…please work on the plumbing situation [too] because I don´t know why my water is grey.¨ She also suggested providing toilet seat covers to increase cleanliness in the restroom. She says, “It’s really good idea to bring back the toilet seat covers because when I use the restroom, it takes me at least another 30 seconds to lay down tissue onto the toilet, use the bathroom, and by the time I get back to class, I´ve been gone for over 5 minutes.” Most students would be more comfortable if they had the resources they need, including a clean and safe environment.


(Vandalism shown in the 2nd floor male restroom.)


It is easier if students can simply use the restroom and immediately go back to class as expected. Nathaniel Omar (RHS sophomore) tells students: “If you’re trying to mess up the bathroom, trying to be funny, don’t do it – PLEASE. You’re messing it up for everyone else! Go to the bathroom for bathroom purposes only.¨ Students are just trying to get through their day.  Maizey Wheeler states, “I am so sorry, we are all victims besides those people that are doing this. But everyone else is a victim, including me.” Above all, we can do our part in respecting the restrooms. Hanna Delele mentions, ¨If you want to be part of the solution, be more aware of your surroundings when you’re in the bathroom. Pick up your trash, and just be respectful.¨ Small actions for students can truly release the pressure other students are feeling when entering the restrooms. Teyah also mentioned some small actions students can take: ¨Please make sure that you aren’t just standing in the mirror and blocking the stalls…I would really appreciate it if we would stop drawing on the bathroom walls and make sure that we wipe the toilet seats [after ourselves]…[and] pick the toilet paper off of the floor.¨

(Broken lock at the 3rd floor female restroom)


Students are certainly doing their best to face the situation regarding the restrooms, including if it means to commit to using the restrooms as little as possible or completely ignoring the restrooms. Teyah says, “I usually try to hold it until I get home, but I can’t do that…I’m always prepared to tell my teachers, ‘Hey, this might take a while because the bathroom situation at this school is not the best.’” Many students have already talked to trusted staff members and spread the word as much as possible to other adults about the situation. Lea states, ¨I have tried to talk to teachers about it, but it’s more of an administrative thing, not a teacher thing. I haven’t been able to do anything about it.¨ Without more of the administration’s consideration, it makes the situation last longer than it should be. Other students, like Sheila, consider taking someone into the restroom with them because they need their help. Most times, students will have a trusted person to hold the stall door for them due to the broken locks, or have them stand in front of the enormous gap to block other students who are entering the restroom from seeing them. Other students simply want to help to create a clean environment as possible. For example, by putting garbage they see in the trash or flushing the toilet. We appreciate those students who are truly mindful of their surroundings and actions. 


(Toilet paper everywhere in one stall at the 2nd floor RHS female restroom.)


These students speak out for everyone – the RHS restrooms are a significant problem because they add an unwelcoming and unpleasant environment. With all of the concerns and hopes for a positive change, we need to recognize that it takes commitment from everyone to cooperate and restore clean and functional restrooms, including a peaceful place of privacy. What is your action plan to create better restrooms for all at RHS?  

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About the Contributors
Sherilyn Bullanday
Sherilyn Bullanday, Journalist / Publishing & Marketing Director
My name is Sherilyn and I am a sophomore in high school. I am very passionate about music especially singing, writing creatively, and reading horror/mystery stories. I hope to somehow use these passions in the future after high school!
Hanna Delele
Hanna Delele, Journalist / Publishing & Marketing Director
I'm a sophomore, I'm left handed and I LOVE JOURNALISM hehehehehe :3  
Maizey Wheeler
Maizey Wheeler, Journalist / Photographer
I am in 10th grade and I love running.