Dignity denied: Kiama High toilets locked during class time

Students are upset Kiama High School locks its toilets during class time. They have taken to social media to bring to light this issue they say is “demeaning, objectionable and downright wrong’’. Picture: Robert Peet
Students are upset Kiama High School locks its toilets during class time. They have taken to social media to bring to light this issue they say is “demeaning, objectionable and downright wrong’’. Picture: Robert Peet

Students are far from flushed with excitement at Kiama High School’s decision to lock toilets during class time.

And they are sick of keeping their anger in at “being denied access to this basic necessity’’.

That’s why students and concerned parents have taken to social media to bring to light this issue they say is “demeaning, objectionable and downright wrong’’.

The Mercury has also seen a letter written by students titled: To whoever is responsible for the locking of our toilets. The letter signed “Yours sincerely, Those wishing to urinate and maintain their dignity simultaneously”, has been stuck on the front door of the aforementioned toilets.

This reporter asked the Department of Education why Kiama High School had implemented this policy.

A spokesperson said use of the school toilets during class time was affecting learning time and disrupting classes.

But this argument did not wash with students, who argued it “actually takes more time out of class for students to get a pass, walk up the front office, collect a key, unlock the toilet, do their business, lock the toilet, return the key and get back to class, then it would just to let a student quickly use the bathroom’’.

The Department of Education spokesperson added the school executive had also noted an increase in vandalism and graffiti in toilet blocks occurring during class times.

“No student at Kiama High School has been stopped from using the toilet,’’ the spokesperson said.

No student at Kiama High School has been stopped from using the toilet.

Department of Education spokesperson

“The new policy is aimed at encouraging students to use recess time to go to the bathroom.’’

But students argued waiting too long to go to the toilets could have a negative impact on their health.

“Using the bathroom is a necessity, not a privilege to be earned or denied,’’ the students wrote.

This garnered support online, with one comment stating “I cannot believe that in 2017 our kids have got to go through a two stage process just to be able to use a bathroom’’.

Another comment states “I’m sure those kids who were vandalizing and smoking in the toilets have found somewhere else to hide and do it anyway….are you going to ban all the kids from being in the playground next because someone is smoking there?’’