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The Student News Site of Arcata High School

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The Pepperbox

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Bathrooms vandalised, students suspended

Admin closed multiple bathrooms until further notice due to accounts of vandalism, vaping, and other disrespectful acts. Principal Ron Perry said numerous students have been suspended.

“When bathrooms are vandalized, we have to close them for a period of time in order to get them ready,” Perry said.

When vandalism occurs, the custodians have to take time out of their daily duties to clean up the messes made by students.

“It’s all I do anymore, between graffiti and cleaning up the bathrooms during the day, that’s probably 75 percent of my work,” Head Custodian Jim Hogan said.

Students vandalized the gym bathrooms on April 9th and most recently the boys bathroom in the 100 wing, resulting in a shelter in place on April 26th, due to the graffiti’s “vague” threats.

“It’s embarrassing. It’s time-consuming. It’s costly. I feel bad for Mr. Hogan. I feel bad for our custodial team. I think it’s way outside our norms,” Perry said.

Perry wants students to understand that they can help stop vandalism and other incidents in the bathroom.

“We need to do a better job of taking care of the facilities, and I encourage anybody who sees or knows of somebody who’s breaking or vandalizing the bathrooms to utilize the incident reporting form to let us know,” Perry said.

When bathrooms are vandalized, there are serious consequences for the students who committed the crime. 

“I suspended somebody today for it [April 10th], for multiple days,” Perry said. “I will say that we’re looking at asking students who damage the bathroom to pay for the cost of fixing it. There have been students suspended for that [vandalizing] and there have been students suspended for vaping in the bathroom.”

Vandalism is also not the only reason for bathroom closure. 

“Right now, there’s a plumbing issue in one of the bathrooms, and we just don’t want anybody going in there and making the plumbing problem worse. Students need to realize that if they flush something that shouldn’t be flushed, it’s going to cause damage,” Perry said.

Perry said the bathroom that was previously closed up in the 400s is going to be redone over the course of the summer. 

“Hopefully that will relieve some pressure. I haven’t seen the final plan but there may be additional facilities that are gender neutral,” Perry said.

He encourages students to play a role in keeping the remaining bathrooms open.

“If you see something, say something. It’s got to stop.” Perry said.

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About the Contributor
Caterina Morones
Caterina Morones, Production Manager
Caterina Morones is a beginning journalist at the Pepperbox. She is involved in some activities at school, such as FFA, where she serves as the chapter Vice President. She is an experienced researcher and speechwriter for FFA speaking contests. Caterina plans to cover many topics, from popular lunch spots to school events. However, she is not limited to these topics, as she is always down to try new things. When she’s not writing, you can find her at the beach, kayaking, or hanging out with her friends.
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