Part 4: Return to Full School at DHS?

The Bathroom Situation


Mulgrew Miller

How will bathroom policy change when students return fully? The short answer is that we do not know yet.

On February 23, Governor Baker announced that elementary schools were required by the state to return in person by April 5 and middle schools are required to return by April 28. This announcement received both positive and negative feedback from schools, parents, and students. For now, the decision and date of whether high school students will return full time is uncertain. Despite this, the concern over how DHS would look with all students present in the building is apparent among students, faculty/staff, and parents.

A worry among students is how bathrooms will work. Currently, there is only one bathroom open on each floor throughout the school. “During the passing periods between classes is when the line gets long and problems begin to become apparent,” said sophomore Erin Thatcher. Even with only one cohort being present, students still find themselves crowded throughout the bathrooms.

Junior Elizabeth McKinley said, “If we all return to school everything will be more crowded, including the bathrooms.” 

As well as students, teachers are concerned about the bathrooms at school, “Bathrooms are already an issue with partial in person. I see students without masks and there are definitely more than three people in the bathroom that I also have to tell to put their masks back on,” said English teacher Jessica Brittingham. 

To accommodate the increased number of students in the building, students advise it would be logical to open all bathrooms to limit crowding and lines. “They should open them all up as long as people stay far apart and sanitize the bathrooms regularly,” said senior Katherine Reno.

Thatcher also added, “If the staff keeps up with sanitizing the bathrooms appropriately according to the situation then it should be fine.”  

For now, the school has no direct plan on what going full in-person will look like for bathrooms. Ms. Antonio, who often regulates the bathrooms said, “With more students that are in the building it makes more sense to open them, but we aren’t exactly sure on staffing or a plan yet.”