Reported By James Arellano
As flu season rolls in, the concern for clean door handles, desks, and easy access to soaps and other disinfectants rise drastically. But one aspect of student life has been neglected and vandalized since the rise of a 2021 Tik Tok trend are the school’s restrooms.
Since the rise of the “Devious Lick” trend, school restrooms have been deliberately destroyed by students. Students took soap dispensers, made disastrous messes, and destroyed school property. These acts continue to happen in the restrooms all around Madison.
A few weeks ago, The boys D hall restroom was closed because a student pulled a sink out. The restroom hasn’t had a working soap dispenser for weeks.
Varsity football player Derrick Smith voices his concerns with the state of the restrooms. “I get sick pretty easily, So when I see how dirty the restrooms are, I’m extremely grossed out to say the least.” Derrick said.
Head Custodian Javier Romero has worked at Madison for 33 years, he has first handedly seen the destruction caused by students. “Students break locks, clog the toilets with toilet paper and dead vapes, and tag the walls. Some students come to school with tools just to destroy the restrooms, It destroys our morale.” Romero said.
The school is supposed to have 22 custodians, in actuality we have 11. The understaffed team is tasked with cleaning every part of the campus everyday ,”The school has 180 toilets and It takes me three hours to remove vapes from one of them. Think about how long it will take to clean all of them.” Romero said.
The boys cafeteria restroom had one of the sinks removed by students in 2021, To this day the restroom is still missing the sink.
The process for repairing damaged sinks and stalls is long and expensive. First, the damage is estimated and sent to the school. Then, once the cost is paid for, one of two district plumbers come in to replace the fixture. Some of the estimates come out to over ten thousand dollars.
The M building restroom has had its stalls removed because students broke the hinges holding it. Causing a safety hazard to students. The estimated cost for repairs are $8,500.
The custodians work tirelessly cleaning Madison everyday for students, even on most holidays. “Just last Monday we spent all day painting over all the bathroom walls. When we came back the day after the walls are already covered in graffiti again.” Romero said.
The Madison custodial team would like to remind students to respect the school’s property and report any observed destructive behavior to a nearby teacher or Assistant Principal. “Lots of custodians leave because we have so many messes, just reporting anything you see or hear will help us out a lot.” Mr. Romero said.
Clean public restrooms are a luxury many students take for granted. “People should be considerate of what’s not theirs, for other students and our custodian’s sake,” Derrick Smith said. With the flu season slowly coming in, Students should try to maintain a clean campus to avoid catching ill and to ease the custodians work load.