Privacy is a right, even for high schoolers


Grace Altenhofen

This women’s restroom in SM North was left propped open with a note signed by ‘admin’.

As high schoolers, we have many responsibilities, and therefore many privileges. Students have the option of driving to school; seniors have open lunch; we get to choose which electives we take.

Why can’t we have the privilege of using the restroom with the door closed?

A sign on one women’s restroom door in the school reads, “THIS DOOR IS TO REMAIN OPEN -ADMIN-”. The message is clear, but the purpose is not. No announcement was made about the doors being permanently propped open, and the sign neglects to tell students why this was implemented.

Additionally, this was not implemented school-wide. Many restroom doors stay closed all day. This effort seems to have been targeted towards one particular women’s restroom.

By the time students are in high school, there is a certain expectation of privacy in the restroom. Perhaps the door could be kept open in an elementary school restroom and no eyebrows would be raised; at that age, many kids don’t understand that a restroom is supposed to be a private place. However, high school students know that their bodily functions are private, and thus restrooms should be private as well.

If something is happening in one particular restroom that raises concerns with administration, a custodian or administrator could check in on the restroom periodically throughout the day. However, leaving the door open seems to raise more problems than solutions. Many students I’ve talked to are concerned with their safety and privacy, and who can blame them? We’re taught from a young age that our ‘business’ should be private, and no one, not even administrators, should be able to take that away.