Vandalism leads to boys’ bathroom closures

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Vandalism leads to boys’ bathroom closures

All but two of Fossil's boys' restrooms have been closed due to disrespectful behavior.

All but two of Fossil's boys' restrooms have been closed due to disrespectful behavior.

Madison Art Center Design

All but two of Fossil's boys' restrooms have been closed due to disrespectful behavior.

Madison Art Center Design

Madison Art Center Design

All but two of Fossil's boys' restrooms have been closed due to disrespectful behavior.

Caroline Sears, Activities Beat Director

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Recently, all the boys’ restrooms besides two, have been locked by the administration. How long will this last and why are they locked in the first place? The sign plastered to almost every male bathroom door states they have been locked due to vandalism in the stalls. Many Fossil Ridge High School students are upset that there are only two available restrooms in the school, potentially causing problems for half of the student body. The truth is that constant code of conduct violations in the bathrooms drove the deans to lock the doors. 

No single action in particular caused them to do this, but in the last few months, destructive behavior in the bathrooms has increased.  One of Fossil’s Dean of Students, Ryan Wulff, described the recent problems: “People were flushing apples down the toilets…food being smeared on the walls,” and other destructive actions. The reason why the bathrooms are locked is simply “to prevent further damage” while they try to find the culprit and handle the underlying issue. “Just destructive behavior in the bathrooms,” described Aaron Waters, who works with security at Fossil. Offensive and unacceptable words and symbols have been written on the walls of the bathrooms as well, which requires a different conversation about Fossil as a whole.

Fossil is currently short-staffed of custodians, and the disrespect has been too much to handle. The head custodian, Mr. Christensen, reported observing incredibly disrespectful behavior, from urination on the floors to broken light fixtures and inappropriate messages written on the walls. He listed off countless problems “Breaking some of the soap dispensers…defecating in urinals,” and purposefully flooding toilets and urinals. He stated “the list goes on, that’s just stuff that happened in the last three weeks,” All of this is left up to him and the custodial staff to fix. Although this behavior has been a trend throughout Fossil’s history, Christensen said that in the last three weeks, these patterns have greatly escalated.

Caroline Sears
The signs on the locked bathrooms advise students to come to the deans with questions.

Mrs. Deana Kochis, another Dean of Students at Fossil recalled reports of “some graffiti, just vandalism.” Anonymous or not, she encourages every student who has information on anyone involved to reach out to her. Kochis stated, “Fossil we are better than this.” Locking most of the doors is not illegal; however, it has inconvenienced many innocent students. The deans stand by their decision to lock them because of the severity of the situation.

The faculty is meeting again on Wednesday to reevaluate the problem and develop a plan for the next few weeks. Until then, if you have any information, please contact a dean. “We are so lucky to have the legit places that we have here, we need to take it upon ourselves to find these people,” said Kochis.