Restrooms continue to be issue after TikTok challenge

Trevor Andrews, Reporter

            Since an Internet challenge in October 2021 encouraged vandalism is schools, many students at Senior High have noticed that many restrooms are in a state of disrepair.

One of the stalls in the boys restroom near the west office is still missing a door after it was damaged last fall. Photos by Trevor Andrews

            The issue has many students wondering why. 

            Daniel Sanchez, a sophomore, said in the 300 wing restroom there are no doors attached to the stalls, which he said causes a privacy issue. 

            Sanchez described the bathrooms as rundown and embarrassing, and added that since the Devious Lick on TikTok is old news, he wonders why improvements haven’t been made.

            “When the trend started there was no soap, and people started taking the toilet paper,” Sanchez said.

            Sanchez said that he would like to see an increase in adult supervision at the restrooms, but added that might not be a good idea because of possible privacy issues. He said unless the TikTok challenge “resurfaces” again, he would like to see the restrooms repaired.

            Another sophomore, Darius Cruz, said that he has also seen issues with other restrooms and knows which ones to frequent and which ones to avoid.

A stall in the boys restroom near the Media Center is missing the lock.

            “There’s only one or two good stalls, and I have mapped them out in my head.” 

            While it’s not always that common, fights do occur in the restrooms, Cruz said. He said some people smoke inside the stalls to get away from everything as well. 

            “Some people are really hooked on it (smoking), and the only place that they can do it is the bathroom.”

            Cruz said, if the restrooms were fixed he would be happy because then he could use them in peace.

            “There is no controlling people,” he said, “people are gonna do what they want to do,” Cruz said. “You need to influence people in a good way, but even then it’s not gonna work.” 

            Cruz said the bathrooms were already in bad condition before the devious lick trend on TikTok.

            “They did get worse, but they were already in bad condition,” Cruz said.

            Alan Hayman, head custodian at Senior High, said he and his staff saw and reported a lot of damage done in all the bathrooms last fall.

            “The biggest thing that I’ve noticed is the Devious Lick, and we had a lot of areas that got hit pretty hard.”

            Some of the damage included the theft of toilet paper and paper towel dispensers, along with soap dispensers, and doors on the stalls. Some of the doors were removed by students.

            “When the Devious Lick hit, our biggest problem was supply and demand.”

            He added the TikTok challenge had students from across the nation damaging or stealing items from schools, which caused a shortage and a delay in replacing the items that were missing.

            He said the challenge cost the school system a lot of money to repair the bathrooms. 

            “You’re not just hurting the school, you’re hurting the taxpayer,” he said. 

            Hayman said now that the trend is over, if a student causes damage in a restroom it’s usually because of bad anger management.

            Hayman said the school has now replaced the soap dispensers in almost every bathroom. He added, “We can only get so many at a time.” 

            “We have a lot of other bathrooms that students can go to if they’re uncomfortable without a door on their stall,” Hayman said. “It’s not only that we got hit on vandalism, but there’s a lot of graffiti, and that’s really hard to catch and when I see it on a stall, I take it off right away.”

            The school now has an SRO patrol the bathroom multiple times a day, Hayman said.

            “Not only an SRO but Mr. (Calvin) Hubbard is doing the same thing. So they are going through the bathrooms on a regular basis.”

Published by gishislander

Journalism/Communications instructor at Grand Island Senior High School in Grand Island, Nebraska

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