Locking Down the Bathrooms

Devious licks making an appearance on West High’s campus…

Locking Down the Bathrooms

Ashlyn Balanon, Opinion Editor

It seems like there’s always some trend that’s got us in a chokehold, and the devious licks trend is the most recent one. It’s caused so much uproar that it’s even got administration turning heads; so much that they’re locking up the bathrooms. But is all this really that necessary?


Recently, all the bathrooms excluding the ones in the cafeteria and the G building are being locked throughout the school day due to the devious licks, and many West High students have reacted differently to it.


When asked if they believed if the bathrooms being locked was reasonable consequence for the devious licks, the answers varied. One of our Sophomore students believed it was unnecessary saying, “The whole point of the thing wasn’t steeling the soap it was just anything someone could get their hands on, so the fact that they had to close the bathrooms it just doesn’t make sense because not everyone is doing it.”


In contrast to this another sophomore, Sadol Osario, believes that locking the bathrooms is the right course of action. “If we didn’t lock all the bathrooms, we wouldn’t have anything in the bathrooms.” He later adds on “We have no more soap dispensers, we’re missing a door now and they’re taking parts from the sink, too.”


Now each student witnessed a different degree of severity with this trend. Another male junior says, “I’ve seen small things like whiteboard erasers or teachers pens and such. I haven’t noticed anything too big missing.”


In the girl’s bathroom, missing items haven’t been a huge problem. A senior told me “There’s writing on the mirrors and wet toilet paper thrown on the ceiling but that’s it.” Further, a sophomore adds, “I think the only thing I saw was like the soap out, but that not even a rare occurrence because sometimes the soap is out because they need to replace it. So, you can’t really tell if people are really doing devious licks; it’s just that people are talking about it.”


Despite the difference in extremity of the trend that each person witnessed, they were all affected by the lockdowns in a negative way. A sophomore student voices her frustration saying, “It takes out my whole lunch time. I literally cannot eat because I’m waiting in a line for a bathroom with three stalls.”


Similarly, another student says, “I would use the bathrooms during lunch time and even if I try to go early during lunch, there’s a lot of people.”


A junior at West High says the situation hasn’t been all that bad for him as using the school restrooms isn’t something he does too often but when he does “It’s locked, and I’ve had to walk to practically the other side of campus.”


Aside from new lunch lines and inconveniences another problem has risen, it’s cutting into class time. Osario demonstrates this saying, “I have to walk halfway across campus if I want to use the bathroom during class, which sucks because it makes me miss class, and I don’t have as much time to do my work.”


Now no action is taken by the district without reason. When asked whether the bathrooms being locked was a direct consequence of the trend, principal Annabelle Lee said “Yes it was, we had multiple bathrooms being vandalized. There was soap and paper towel dispensers torn off the wall, a ton of vandalism with red Kool-Aid.” She adds, “With the girls, it was more of the writing and the messiness. The clogged the toilets and there was Kool-Aid.”


Now any promotion is stressful enough, especially when this promotion is being the principal of a public high school. On top of this Lee, had a troublesome trend shaking things up. When asked about how the trend has impacted the day-to-day routine of being a principal, Lee responded “It’s just another facet of the job because usually facilities like the buildings and the maintenance of the buildings run pretty well, so when this trend comes it’s like ‘Okay now we have to use the manpower. How are we going to ask the teachers to monitor the bathrooms?’ Now we’re at a point where we would hope that the students could take care of our school, that’s my goal. This is our school, it’s not just my school it’s ours, teachers, staff and students.” She then added on “How can I help build that culture of this is ours not just mine.”


If Lee could reach out to the student body about this trend she’d say, “Start another trend destroying school property is not a positive trend. Let’s do things that help each other, our school and make students want to be here. I want students to want to be here, and it’s not everyone who’s doing so it’s sad for those who have to suffer the consequences of it. So, to our student body take care of each other and our school.”

picture credits: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2021/06/your-tiktok-feed-embarrassing/619257/