Bathrooms are finally open, but for how long? 


E Eelbode, Editor-in-Chief

Not even a couple weeks into school, all bathrooms were closed except the two across from the front office. While most students aware of the closures and the recent re-openings, not everyone knows the reason behind these changes. 

It was rumored that the bathrooms were closed because students were participating in the viral TikTok trend, “devious licks.” For those not familiar with this trend, it is when a student steals something from their school—the devious lick—and then posts their prize on video-sharing platform TikTok. It is also a popular belief among student body that the perpetrators were the male students at Heritage Junior High, the middle school UAIS shares a building with.

Whatever the reason behind the closures, students were not happy with the consequence. Lara Tinawi, UAIS senior, thinks the punishment may have been too severe.

“There are always super long lines to go to the bathroom, so I have to miss more class time in order to go,” Tinawi said. “And it’s kind of unfair for the girls’ bathrooms to have been closed as well, when most of the rule-breaking took place in the boys’ bathrooms.”

This sentiment was echoed by other students. Senior Peter Wathen gave insight into how the closures have impacted the male students at UAIS.

“There aren’t viable options for using the bathroom anymore,” Wathen said. “There is rarely any toilet paper or paper towel, and not all the sinks and urinals are fully functional in the only open bathroom.”

While the bathrooms were closed for a good few weeks, they have been recently reopened. However, there are still questions as to why exactly it happened and what can be expected going forward. 

Mr. Voakes, Assistant Principal and Administrator at UAIS, has the answers students are looking for.

“Students were vandalizing the restrooms and there were instances of soap dispensers being pulled off the walls in both sets of bathrooms,” Voakes said. “Over a period of a few days, it kept happening, so we decided to shut [the bathrooms] down. Then we found out about the TikTok challenge that encourages destruction of school property, and decided that the bathrooms should remain closed until these behaviors dissipate fully.”

And, true to his word, the bathrooms were reopened after a decline in bathroom destruction.

Going forward, Mr. Voakes indicated that it is not his wish to have bathrooms shut down, but if the destruction continues, there may be further shutdowns. He also mentioned some possible changes in the restrooms themselves, such as making the toilet paper holders more secure, to help discourage further vandalism. 

While the changes with the bathrooms are ongoing, it is the hope of staff and students alike that all the bathrooms will remain open. That, however, will depend on the behavior of students going forward.