MHS bathroom vandalism spiking, some targeting mental health

Administration trying to stop out-of-hand bathroom vandalism that has targeted mental health; some feel enough isn’t being done

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DJ Gallegos

The D-wing bathrooms, along with many others, have suffered from instances of vandalism.

Abby Kearns, Writer

Some of Mead High’s bathrooms have suffered extensive amounts of vandalism this school year, from writing on the stall doors to toilets ripped off the walls. 

There have been bathroom costs that the school has had to pay for this year. Campus Supervisor Ms. Penni Andersen said, “The tiny things add up to a bigger cost in the end.”

Some of the vandalism is incredibly concerning and actually disrupts the function of the bathrooms — toilet seats have been ripped off, soap dispensers have been stolen off the wall. Other forms of vandalism in the MHS bathrooms have hit more of the mental health side, making students have to see and read offensive comments written on the walls, garbage cans, and toilet seats.

While some of the vandalism is harmless, other instances have appeared to target certain people or demographics with hateful and offensive language.

Counselor Ms. Courtney Howe said, “I always encourage students to come down to the counseling office before they make a decision that they may regret.”

She said that a lot of the time, we don’t think about how others will feel before we say or do something hateful or targeted. This can also go for writing an offensive comment on the bathroom wall, door, or toilet seat. Anger and impulsive behavior takes over, and we make choices that can hurt others.

Some students think the school isn’t doing enough to put a stop to vandalism in general, offensive comments and otherwise.

Frankie Rangel (‘24) said, “The school doesn’t take good care of the bathrooms [when it comes to] vandalism.”

On the other side, staff have shared they felt overworked in terms of cleaning up vandalism this year, something that oftentimes isn’t even part of their job. Staff have put in hours and hours of looking over camera footage in order to stop vandalism. Penni said she has been working hard trying to keep everything clean and ethical, but it’s not her only job.

“Someone has to clean up the messes being made,” she said. But even as she helps clean up, there are a lot of other things these staff members are responsible for at the school. 

Penni continued, adding that the task of finding vandals sometimes feels impossible.

“There aren’t enough hours in the day to figure out who did what in the bathrooms,” she said.

The staff and students are both tired of bathrooms being destroyed and hurtful comments being made. The question is, what can be done about it?