What’s up with our bathrooms?

What’s up with our bathrooms?

While our school’s bathrooms are definitely not the most glamorous, they’re usually acceptable enough that they’re not the topic of conversation. However, with the lack of paper towels in both bathrooms, the lack of period products in the girls bathroom and constant closures in the boys restrooms, students were suddenly talking about their dissatisfaction in lunch conversations.

“There were one or two fires at Wakefield … and those two incidents resulted in APS removing paper towels from the bathrooms,” Principal Kevin Clark said.

This year, paper towels in the girl’s bathrooms were reinstated. The boys, however, are still waiting for their return. Some anonymous students have even posted flyers in the bathroom demanding paper towels back, using the hashtag #fixtheboysbathroom. After more than a year of waiting, some boys are fed up with having to walk back to class with soaking wet hands.

“[The lack of paper towels is] a little ridiculous, considering that none of the air dryers work half the time. I just want to dry my hands after I use the bathroom. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for in a public school,” senior Srijon Bose said.

While the girls do have paper towels, the lack of functioning feminine hygiene dispensers caused irritation among students. Young Women Lead co-president, Talia Agrillo, was unhappy with the state of the old dispensers.

“This is what Yorktown stands for. One of their main [goals] is equity. Having no period products in the dispensers at a consistent, scheduled time is not equitable for people,” Agrillo said.

In late April, however, Agrillo’s wishes were fulfilled. The old dispensers were replaced with new, filled ones. Students were immediately overjoyed, with even more positive responses.

“I was so happy, and I texted a picture to the [Young Women Lead] group chat. I tested them, and usually they’re pretty filled, so that’s good. I’m really happy,” Agrillo said.

After months of students advocating, Arlington Public School’s (APS) Office of Student Services decided to take action. The Office of Student Services began planning at the end of last school year and installed the dispensers toward the end of this school year. Even though they didn’t work the entire time this year, Clark and his administration worked with students to make products available even without the dispensers.

While a huge success for the girls bathroom, the gender neutral bathrooms’ walls remain bare. The dispensers APS use are not meant for single stall bathrooms, due to their large size. However, there is still a possibility for installation.

“I’m sure we could do that,” Clark said.

Our school’s bathrooms have certainly undergone lots of change in the past year, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping. Most students can only hope for even better results next year, with paper towels in a functioning boys bathroom and period products in the gender neutral bathrooms.

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Scarlett Gray, News Editor
Scarlett Gray is a junior and this year's News Editor. She spends the majority of her time swimming but also enjoys reading, baking and hanging out with her friends. Returning for her second year on staff, she is so excited to meet all the new reporters and see what stories will be covered!

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