Abused Bathrooms: MHS Students to Blame

Hannah Stenovec and Emma Barr

This dirty boys bathroom shows the effects of the  careless attitude Miramonte students have towards their facilities.“We have iPads, yet we have no toilet paper.”  This is one of the common phrases heard walking into the bathrooms at Miramonte.  Four bathrooms for 1,130 students can’t come to anything good.

It’s not only a matter of Miramonte staff keeping up the bathrooms, which they try to do, but it is also the Matadors’ responsibility to take pride in Miramonte and clean up after themselves.  Many bathrooms are disorderly, and we are the only ones to blame. The Administration spends lots of time budgeting the bathroom supplies, repairing, and keeping up the bathrooms.

Although classrooms are cleaned every other day, bathrooms are cleaned daily.  When there are after school performances or team banquets, they are cleaned even more than once a day.

“Every day we spend about one and a half hours cleaning each bathroom,” Head Custodian Steve Miller said. “There’s just not enough time in the day.”

One may wonder why Miramonte doesn’t open up the bathrooms by the art room to provide more bathrooms for students and prevent long lines at brunch, lunch, and passing periods.  However, they do so for good reason.

“If we opened up these bathrooms, then you kids would come in and it would become another bathroom for the custodians to clean,” Campus Supervisor Mark Graminski said.

“Most are pretty gross,” junior Shannon Moran said. “They never refill the paper towels it seems.”

“The district purchases about 85 cases of paper towel rolls and 85 cases of toilet tissue per year for Miramonte,” Director of Food Services and Custodial Services Diane Deshler said. “The size of the rolls and cases are for industrial usage (not home size).”

Another factor that makes it harder on the custodians is the budget cuts.

“About four years ago when there was a reduction from the State of California in school funding,” Deshler said. “AUHSD did reduce the number of custodians at Miramonte by one staff person.”

“People don’t realize how expensive this stuff is, and we don’t always have the money to fix it,” Miller said. “People rip off the front of paper towel dispensers when they can’t get a paper towel out and those cost $60-70 apiece to repair.”

Surprisingly, this is one of the biggest problems.  Many bathrooms are out of order and lack the proper necessities provided by the school, sometimes due to budget cuts and sometimes due to students misusing bathroom resources.

“I feel like the girls bathrooms are always the worst, even though you would expect the boys bathrooms to be messier, it’s embarrassing for our school,” senior Annie Hocking said.

“Cleaning chemical supplies are purchased in bulk and are used for a variety of uses including the bathrooms,” Deshler said. “There is not a specific health code for keeping bathrooms clean, but we consider this area to be of the utmost importance in keeping clean and reducing germs and disease.”

Although they are also structured rather uncomfortably and may not be able to supply all of the proper necessities, we still need to do our part and help keep them clean.

“I’d say there are about eight urinals in the bathroom by the vending machines,” sophomore Sam Miles said.

With 1,130 students, it is understandable that the four bathrooms available get crowded.

“When the urinals in the 100’s bathroom are all being used, it gets pretty uncomfortable,” junior Sam Conklin said.

This is mainly due to the student population and short passing periods, but teachers also contribute to the long lines.

“My teachers really discourage me from going to the bathroom during class,” senior Jeff Lee said. “Some teachers even limit us to four bathroom passes per semester that count as extra credit if you don’t use them.”

With incentives not to go to the bathroom during class, bathrooms are crowded even more at brunch, lunch, and passing period.  However, this shouldn’t cause students to misuse the bathrooms and not take responsibility for their wasteful actions.

“Once, we found a bagel in the toilet,” Associate Principal Jan Carlson said.

The strange things that staff and students alike find in the bathrooms reflects our need as Matadors to keep up our facilities and take pride in our school.  Things like tennis balls, cell phones, or bagels shouldn’t be intentionally put in the toilet.  Janitors already have a limited amount of time to clean the bathrooms, and they don’t need any obstacles to prevent them from doing their job.  Besides, would you put a bagel in your bathroom at home?