Students angry over limited access to bathrooms, teachers at lunch

Students don’t have access to most bathrooms or teachers during lunch this year under a new hallway policy, causing a hardship for many students.

Students have only been allowed to go to the restrooms near the cafeteria during lunch. They are only allowed into academic hallways if they have a pass from their teachers.

In a survey conducted by Media Academy Journalism students in December, 93 percent of the students wanted the bathrooms to be open when they came back from winter break. However, the bathrooms in three hallways were still closed during lunch as of last week.

“It has affected me because students have to go to one (bathroom) in the cafeteria (and it gets) crowded,” wrote one Mandela Academy senior on the survey. “I want it to be like last year.”

Another student, sophomore Sania “RmD” McDonald, also complained about the policy to shut the hallways during lunch.

“I’m not allowed to go to classrooms to make up my work, and I have to use my (bathroom) passes in class,” wrote McDonald.

McDonald also expressed a frustration that not all students are being treated the same at lunchtime.

“The security (officers) allowed people that they liked in the hallways,” she wrote. “I only wanted to go into the bathroom to blow my nose, and they wouldn’t even let me in the hallway.”

The Green & Gold told one of the School Safety Officers (SSO) about the student criticism that only some students were allowed into the hallways.

SSO Officer Campbell, who denied to give the Green & Gold his first name, justified the choices made to let certain students into the hallways.

“We let in students that we know that are not a problem,“ he said.

When asked if the hallways should be reopened because the officers were already letting certain students into the hallways, Campbell said “no.”

“There are several reasons,” he said. “One, we don’t want to compete with teachers.Two, the problem with opening the doors is students smoking weed and sexual activities happens.”