New policy aims to keep bathrooms safe and open

Gender neutral bathrooms remain inaccessible

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Jayden Ludwig

A student washes their hands before returning to class.

Jenna McKenzie and Jayden Ludwig

At the start of the 2022-2023 school year, students were welcomed by new faces and new policies. One of the most notable policy changes for returning students is the introduction of new bathroom procedures.

Last year, the bathroom situation frustrated students and staff alike. Students had to constantly travel from floor to floor, looking for an open bathroom, while teachers wondered why they were gone for so long.

Dean of Students Colleen Krakauskas says that the reason for the constant closing of bathrooms was due to vandalization of bathrooms. 

“[There was] constant damage to plumbing, vulgar and inappropriate words and phrases and even graphics written all around the bathrooms, and the fact that some students like to hang out in the lavatory for entire class periods to avoid going to class,” she said. 

The new hall passes are color-coordinated to correspond with the first, second, third, and fourth floors of FLC. (Jayden Ludwig)

Now, a new policy is being implemented in hopes that we can avoid the bathrooms closing again.

The new policy features colored hall passes, each color corresponding to a floor of the school. The first floor is yellow, second is blue, third is green, and fourth is red. If students are caught on any other floor but their designated floor, the following escalating consequences will follow: meeting with Mrs. Krakauskas, phone call home from Mrs. Krakauskas, detention, and ultimately a parent conference.

Student climate staff will be responsible for enforcing this policy while monitoring the hallways. 

Isis Key, an FLC climate staff member of five years, stated that “we will direct you to use the correct bathroom if you are on the wrong floor with warning. If students refuse a warning, staff members will take you to the Dean for most likely a phone call home.”

The new hall passes are connected to a lanyard that can be hung on stall doors. (Jayden Ludwig)

Now although the women’s and men’s bathrooms are not closed, the gender neutral bathroom is. The gender neutral bathroom was added during the 2021-22 school year and it’s located inside the nurse’s office. Students currently cannot access the gender neutral bathroom because there are sensitive files in the nurse’s office that need to be protected. The school nurse usually would’ve been the one to monitor these files, but with a nurse vacancy to start this school year, this bathroom has been closed to students. 

Krakauskas mentioned in conversation that students who wish to use the gender neutral bathroom should choose the binary bathroom that they feel most comfortable with until a nurse is hired and the gender neutral bathroom opens. 

“Gender-neutral as well as all students and parents should be contacting the district in force to get us a full-time nurse,” Krakauskas said. “This is the second year in a row (since we came back from COVID) that we have started the school year without a full time nurse. I am sure parents would find that unacceptable.”