New Milford H.S. Bathrooms Reopen After Students Take Action
Monday morning New Milford High School students returned to school to find all the bathrooms reopened after a student petition hit social media.
In an effort to combat the vaping epidemic that has hit area schools, New Milford High School administrators introduced a new bathroom policy that would close some restrooms at certain times as a way to better supervise the other open restrooms, but backlash from students and parents has led them to change the policy, and keep all bathrooms open.
The move by school officials was put into effect to combat growing vaping use by students at the school.
The change of heart at the school came after complaints by students, and a student petition that had more then 430 signatures was posted online.
Superintendent of Schools Kerry Parker told newstimes.com late on Friday why the administration made a change in this new policy:
Over the last several days, we have listened to concerns from students and parents regarding open access to all restrooms. As a result, we will be opening all restrooms during the school day for student use. The dialogue regarding ending vaping by students will continue and options will continue to be explored.
The petition, which was posted by Nicollette Barile, called the new bathroom policy unfair and disruptive, and claims that the restroom closures would negatively affect students and their ability to learn.
Here's a look at the entire petition that was posted online:
The students of NMHS are being unfairly subjected to bathroom policies that negatively affect our learning. This is all because, according to the administration, there were students who were uncomfortable with vaping in the bathrooms. This petition is for students against the new policy. I believe that instead of punishing every student in the school for the actions of a few students vaping in the bathrooms, the students who smoke in the bathrooms should be directly punished. Punishing students who are truly doing the best they can to adhere to the rules is extremely unfair and damaging.
I have already seen a teacher run out into the hallways to yell at a student who forgot to sign out. The teacher yelled in the middle of the hallway for a solid 5 minutes, which absolutely disrupts the learning of other students. Although this example is only one case of disruption, the entire policy itself is a disruption for every single student, as the bathrooms are closed during the transition from class to class AND the top floor bathrooms are completely closed during lunch. As someone who has a class on the 3rd floor at this time, it is EXTREMELY disruptive and time consuming to walk to the bathroom on the first floor from the third. Not only this, but we are being timed, which is why the analogy, "You have to walk to the bathrooms in the mall, so why not here?" is absurd.
The students of NMHS will not allow our learning to be disrupted by an administration who refuses to directly address a problem. Fellow students, if you believe this policy is unfair, disruptive to your learning, and frankly annoying, then please sign this petition. As soon as this petitions reaches a reasonable amount of signatures, it will be sent to administration and the board of ed. Thank you for reading.
The Students main concern, laid out in the online petition, was not being able to get to a restroom, especially in between classes when not all bathrooms on all floors would be open, as well as the distractions that were taking place as teachers tried to enforce the bathroom closure policy.