The Closing of the Girls’ Bathrooms


Recently, the girls at Sentinel cannot find a women’s restroom. It is no longer a secret that certain Sentinel staff have taken away the majority of the ladies’ bathrooms. There have been reports of inappropriate usage of school bathrooms, including drug use, according to a Sentinel English teacher. There are multiple approaches staff could take instead of limiting women’s usage of the facilities, yet deemed it acceptable to lock multiple facilities in response. One approach would be logging who uses the restroom and when, so if there is misconduct, it would narrow down the options to only a handful of people, but Sentinel took the stylistic choice of making students walk greater distances and be away from class longer to fulfill a basic human necessity. Sentinel is taking the famous quote, “It is called a ladies’ room for a reason, and if you cannot behave like ladies, well, then you are not going to have a bathroom” by Dwight Shrute of The Office too seriously.

Only a few months ago, the “Devious Lick” challenge was circulating MCPS schools. The challenge consists of taking objects from various locations of the school. The bathrooms of Sentinel were ‘hit’ the hardest from the trend. The majority of the bathrooms vandalized were male restrooms. After the incidents of destruction, there was a brief announcement saying that the challenge was not going to be tolerated at Sentinel. No male restrooms were locked despite copious amounts of destruction. Eventually, the TikTok trend died down. Is the attack of locking bathrooms intentionally placed on women? You tell me.

Many women are being very vocal about their opinions towards Sentinel staff locking women’s restrooms. After sitting down with a couple of female students that have been affected by the change, it is clear that there needs to be a different approach to restroom misconduct besides locking them. One student found the closure “very frustrating that a small minority [of people] ruined it for the majority” and felt that there should be a hall monitor to avoid complete closure. Another student spoke about their frustration with the rash decision of locking the restrooms. There are mixed reactions amongst Sentinel students, but it is very apparent that there needs to be a change.

It has been no secret that people are utilizing restrooms for inappropriate reasons for privacy, but taking away restrooms is also an inappropriate way of dealing with a problem. Only a small amount of people are abusing the restrooms, yet the majority of people are having to experiment with trying to open closed doors to the restrooms. Women are feelings attacked because of previous events, involving bathroom privacy, that went merely unpunished. Instead of taking a more permanent approach to the restroom dilemma, Sentinel staff settled by making it more difficult for students solely seeking to utilize the restroom appropriately. With the change implemented, nothing will likely be resolved. Without a nearby hall monitor or on sight person to regulate, the misconduct will continue and women will be deprived of their now “privilege” to use the facilities. New and more effective changes need to be made, as this quick fix is unacceptable.