RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A “trend of disturbing vandalism” to school bathrooms fueled by a social media challenge led to restroom use being restricted to students, according to a letter that went out to parents on Tuesday.
Wakefield Middle School has experienced broken toilets, sinks being pulled off the wall, broken vents and water pipes, and soap being removed from dispensers and sprayed on floors and walls.
According to the letter to parents, effective immediately, students will no longer be permitted to use bathrooms between classes or upon individual request. A schedule will be created in which entire classes will go to the bathroom at once. Staff members will supervise bathroom use.
Wakefield Middle School students may receive extra homework due to lost instructional time.
I hope this trend quickly ends and the students demonstrate that we can trust them to use the bathrooms appropriately. When we can, we will return to traditional bathroom access. We recognize that this change effects a whole school based on the actions of a few. However, the actions of a few have also created safety risks for all students and student safety is our top priority.Principal Alison Cleveland
The trend is also causing problems at Wakefield High School. The principal addressed students in a school-wide announcement.
“If paper towel dispensers are being removed, we are not going to replace them. If sinks are being broken, it will take a long time to fix them,” principal Malik Bazzell said.
He said that if the behavior continues, the school will need to put stricter bathroom protocol in place.
“This needs to stop. We’ve put new procedures in place to safeguard against this,” he said. “However, if the vandalism continues, we will put more stringent procedures in place, even if we have to not allow students to go to the bathroom during transition and line up like you’re in elementary school when you’re in class.”