After a number of students recently began complaining to the Wisdom Chronicle about the high amount of bathroom traffic in between classes, and an uptick in tardies occurring following the delays, our staff decided to investigate the problem in late January. Students were reporting that many toilet stall doors in every restroom on campus did not function correctly, and have never locked since this building was constructed in 2017.
So on January 29, 2019 the Wisdom TV News crew checked the bathroom stall door locks in all five restrooms: the Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green Neighborhoods, and the bathroom by the gym, as well as the stalls in the both the boys and girls locker rooms. Indeed, on that day they found that 38 percent (27 of the 72) of our toilet stall doors for students did not lock properly.
The Wisdom Chronicle then spoke to Assistant Principal John Cabrera (who is in charge of our school building operations) regarding this issue. He informed us that he was fully aware of the situation, and that he had been adamantly trying to get a response from HISD Facilities for several months, to find out when and how they planned on fixing the doors.
Finally, on Monday, February 4, Houston ISD workers arrived on site to adjust the locks that were not aligned correctly. The problem was that some of the locks did not line up with the latch on the door, making it impossible to have privacy in that particular stall.
“For us girls, it was a bigger problem because none of us wanted to use the stalls with broken locks,” said one junior female student. “It just made the line move very slowly, and then we ended up getting to class late because of how long it took to pee.”
When the Wisdom TV News crew first investigated, the problem existed in 10 out of 22 toilet stalls in the boys restrooms, and 17 out of 49 stalls in the female restrooms. Since the boys had urinals to use, the delays in between classes were not as much of an issue. But, we did hear from some male students that said they did not ever use a stall with a door that didn’t close.
After the repairs were made, Wisdom Chronicle reporters checked the stalls again on February 6, and found only a few remaining bathroom toilet stall doors that were broken. All of the mis-aligned locks had been repaired – the only doors that didn’t lock had handles that were completely broken off.
“Nobody wants to have their friend stand there holding the door for you, while you go to the bathroom,” said another senior female student. “So this is much better, and we thank HISD Facilities, Mr. Cabrera and our School Maintenance Supervisor Mr. Joseph for fixing the situation.”