The bathroom locks are not working: Is it a serious issue?

Lack of bathroom stall doors locking is causing students to become uncomfortable.


S. Robertson

Bathroom stall door being held closed shut with a foot propped up while ignoring the cracks between the door.

By Sienna Robertson

Imagine a passing period between classes with busy hallways, and students scrunched into a line to await to use the bathroom. When you finally get to the front of the line while chasing the clock before the bell rings. You go into a stall and realize when you turn a metal lock that it is unable to stay closed. You are unable to go into a different stall due to the line outside so you decide to proceed in the same stall by holding the door shut with your foot while hoping no one is too curious to put any pressure on the door to see if it is occupied.

Many individuals try their best to be resourceful when they come across a stall that doesn’t lock in the bathrooms. They adapt and hope no one would try to see if their stall was vacant or not or worse for someone to walk in on them.

“Most of the time, I either hold it with my foot or my hand. Or I’ll try and put my backpack in front of it and see if that’ll do anything,” senior Kendall Gallaugher said.

Students have their own opinion on the situation, but most of them think the same thing. Many believe their privacy is invaded due to the locks not working properly. While most of them also think the gaps between the stalls are also a major issue too.

“I think the locks in the bathroom are an issue that needs to be addressed. But I also think the gaps in the stalls need to be fixed because there are only two stalls that don’t have gaps and I think it would be much better privacy” sophomore, Georgia Watson said.

Gallaugher tries to avoid the bathroom in any way possible. Although she knows which bathrooms she should attend to if need be. On occasion she might encounter a long line, in that case, she faces choosing the correct stall in hopes the door will stay shut.

“I’ll try and just hold it because there’ll be a long line. I don’t want to have to make anyone else wait. I feel like my privacy is just being invaded and I don’t really feel comfortable going to the bathroom,” Gallaugher said.

While principal Marcus Belin also does not agree with the situation, he does not tolerate how the locks are being broken. He understands that maintenance replaces the locks once it is reported and communicates with him when they need to purchase more locks.

“I’ve seen people intentionally break locks. You go in and you’re like, we just replaced this last year, or we just replaced this last week. It was kind of like the soap dispensers and dryers. They were broken and we kept replacing them. With a tougher grade material, the locks can only do so much,” Belin said.

Belin and the staff try their best to make sure the locks will work for students, but they don’t tolerate fixing the problem again and again if the same people are justifying their wrongful actions. Belin wants to resolve this issue by lessening the number of locks that are being broken by students.

“If students see them broken, go to a pod report so they can send a facility or work request. Once that work request is fulfilled, it gets fixed. Then if kids are like, ‘man, I’m constantly reporting this is not getting fixed,’ let me know. Let somebody know, then I can do it,” Belin said.

Overall, Belin and others don’t want students to feel uncomfortable or that their privacy is being invaded, but they will not keep replacing locks that might have been replaced a day or a week ago. Although this seems unfair to most of the students at Huntley, it’s the small number of students that are ruining it for others.

“You just got to deal with it, and I hate saying that. There are ultimate consequences that happen. Unfortunately, those consequences affect everybody. All I want to do is go on to a bathroom with a working lock on the stall door. Shame on those kids who are constantly breaking them intentionally,” Belin said.

Generally, this issue can become less of a problem if those would stop ruining the bathroom locks. Huntley tries their best to replace the locks as frequently as possible but it runs way more efficiently if it ends up being reported. The number of locks that need to be replaced can become less of an issue for staff but also for students’ privacy if we are able to lessen the number of broken locks.