The Unfortunate State of Our Bathrooms


West Potomac may be the greatest high school in the world, but it’s definitely not the cleanest. Students seldom pick up after themselves, and the floors are often littered with discarded papers and other assorted trash. However, what is perhaps the greatest sanitary disaster in the entire school is the condition that the boy’s restrooms are in.

Walking into a West Potomac men’s room, the first thing to hit you will be the stench. The putrid odor of day-old urine mixed with the lingering stink of excrement will leave you gasping for air as you exit, and it makes you wonder if anyone going to this school ever learned how to flush the toilet. Sometimes the smell is so bad that it starts to seem like a better idea to just hold it until you get back home.

After your nose adjusts to the wretched stink, the next thing you will notice is how filthy the floors are. Wet paper towels, used band-aids and mysterious pools of liquid all coexist peacefully on the ground, forcing you to play an intricate game of “don’t step on the line” if you want to keep your shoes clean and dry. So the next time you’re in the boy’s restroom and find that there are no paper towels left, make sure to scan the floor for some. If you’re lucky there may be a whole roll’s worth of unused paper towels there.

Speaking of shortages, paper towels sadly aren’t the least of your worries when it comes to the deficiencies of the West Potomac men’s rooms. More often than not, the bathrooms are seriously lacking in one or more of their regular commodities.

“Sometimes you’ll go in and there just won’t be any soap in the dispenser, or all the toilet paper will be missing,” said sophomore Cooper Rapp. “It really makes you question if using the bathroom at school is the right choice.”

Besides being generally unclean by conventional standards, the boy’s bathrooms are also tainted by the inappropriate and graphic images that can be seen on the walls in nearly every restroom. Swastikas, gang symbols, fornicating stick figures, if you can think of anything nasty, chances are there’s a hastily drawn sharpie picture of it on a West Potomac men’s room wall.

However, it is important to not blame this problem on our school’s janitorial staff. They work tirelessly day in and day out to fix the utterly detestable conditions of the bathrooms, and they receive little praise or recognition.

“This place is huge, I think we have the hardest working custodians in all of Fairfax County,” Ms. Barbara Mahony, Assistant Director of Student Activities, said. She stressed that we, the students, should show our janitors more appreciation. “Custodians work harder if they realize that people actually care.”

The truth is, the ability to keep the men’s rooms in our school nice and tidy is up to us, the students who use them. So next time you use the restroom, try to make sure that you leave it a cleaner place than before.