Harwood Bathrooms: A Shameful Experience



Vandalism continues in the school’s bathrooms; students vaping and writing obscenities persist. Both the men’s and women’s bathrooms in the art department have been closed due to vandalism. Currently, the art department staff are the only users of the bathrooms, equipped with keys to unlock and lock them after use so no students are permitted to enter.

They are tired of it and so are the students, especially seniors. The disrespect and destruction of school property is obnoxious and unneeded and we all just want them left alone.

“The Harwood school community has continued to brainstorm and consider how to make bathrooms throughout the building feel safe for everyone,” said Harwood co-principal Megan McDonough. “Our Collective Leadership Team – made up of students and staff – initiated a brainstorm that was then continued by our full staff and Student Council. One outcome was the stronger presence of adults in and out of bathrooms which you might have noticed in the weeks before break. Our Student Support Collective is continuing to consider next steps. Additionally, a group of student leaders is preparing to facilitate a student dialogue later this month as we recognize that change will truly only come from the student body itself.”



The Harwood restrooms have become a chaotic, shameful amalgamation of angst, racial and homophobic slurs, and drug abuse. The following will include a detailed account full of instances containing the aforementioned bathroom abuse.

Throughout my interviews, which were mostly made up of seniors, there were many similarities, as if it were the same story told over and over again by many different people, all with their own variations, proving that the abuse is constant in appearance.

“I’ve seen a lot of freshmen and possibly sophomores vaping,” said Quinn von Recklinghausen, a senior and newfound Harwood bathroom avoider. “[They were] definitely smoking weed, because the bathrooms do not smell like that naturally, and breaking some of the stall doors, and then trying to mend it back together.” 

Even students who don’t use the restrooms at Harwood know about the constant use of dab pens, marijuana and possible other substances simply based on the all too familiar synthetic fruity scent wafting from the vents in the bathroom doors.

Those who do make use of the bathrooms often witness the occasional group of freshmen or sophomores exuding a disgustingly sweet-smelling vapor from their mouths before scattering like vermin so as not to be caught when someone opens the door. 

If this event is not witnessed, students most likely will find themselves in front of a toilet or trash can full of empty Juul pods, this most likely being the remnants of a carefree student haphazardly flushing before making their all too confident jaunt back to class. 

It isn’t just the use of contraband. There is also a problem of property abuse containing derogatory language etched into stall walls, examples of which we will refrain from printing.

Those responsible for this use of abusive language should be ashamed of themselves. No matter what drew them to do it, the fact still stands that they have written blatantly racist and homophobic remarks throughout every bathroom. In fact, some would say that it would be a challenge to find a stall that hasn’t been tagged.

“The language and tagging is usually racially charged, sexually charged,” said senior Connor Hebert. “Sometimes the behavior is obviously in the drug field.” 

“I’ve seen a few kids vaping and overall trashing the bathrooms, with paper towels and water everywhere, all over the floor and the sinks,” said Wyeth Talmon, also a senior. “Leaving it a mess and not very clean or inviting.” When asked about the carvings in the stalls, he said, “There are some pretty vile things in some of them. There’s some stuff that’s definitely upsetting to read. Most of them are not really [safe]. It’s really bad in the Language wing.”

Overall, the behavior in the bathrooms at this high school is unacceptable and plain disappointing. Everybody needs to use the bathroom from time to time, and when the restroom itself becomes an unsafe place to use, only more problems can come of it as a result. Change needs to be brought to Harwood, and with it needs to come an order to calm the chaos of those responsible for the current state of this school.