An open letter to the Bear Creek administration:

Let’s cut to the chase here, people. Every student and staff member on the Bear Creek campus knows about the severity of the bathroom situation. Just imagine: you’ve been working hard in class, but all of a sudden, you’ve got to pee. You walk (with your government-mandated, obnoxiously saturated yellow bathroom pass, of course) to the restroom, and you’re first greeted by a putrid stench, a combination of Juul juice and shit/piss miasma. A group of freshmen skipping P.E. is vaping against the far wall. Security is nowhere to be found.

You take one of two remaining seat covers from the wall and look for an open stall. You try one stall, only to stare face-to-face with an unflushed turd. You try another stall, but the door doesn’t lock. When you finally sit down on a third battered and beaten toilet, you do your best to avoid touching any rancid looking object — from the stained toilet handle to the roll of toilet paper that barely offers enough paper to wipe.

You do your business and head to the sink to wash your hands, but there’s neither soap nor towels. Wait, no — you know where the towels are: someone dispelled the roll into the trash for no particular reason other than to make your day worse than it already is.

The worst thing is, this is totally normal. Your normal student life just happens to include barely tolerable bathrooms.

Dear administrators, to us students, it seems like all you’re doing is going through the motions to fix a basic human necessity. I’ve been to McNair. I’ve been to Tokay. Despite the administration’s propensity to cast blame on the district, I know it’s not a core fault of the Lodi Unified School District (LUSD) because the rest of the high schools put some care into the well-being of their students — it’s just your lack of giving a shit (literally) that puts all 2,000 of your students in a miserable situation.

No worries, though. I’ve thought of a solution that will solve all of our problems. I propose that all administrators, for a week — nay! Just a day! — use the F, K and Q bathrooms alongside every other student on campus. No teacher bathrooms — just you all wading right in with the muck of the peasantry — oh, sorry, I mean the student population. If you’re really content with the bathroom services you provide your students, surely you’d be comfortable using them daily.

Sometimes, you have to experience a problem firsthand to truly comprehend the severity and urgency of it. Soon, you’ll understand that guaranteeing each entry with a little yellow band-aid of a pass isn’t going to fix anything.
Can you imagine Principal Harrell trying to use our school bathrooms during lunch? She’d be hightailing it to the district office demanding repair funding faster than you can say “board meeting.”

Better yet, let’s just bring the LUSD administrators and school board members down here, too. At the district office, their bathrooms are kept pristine, and I bet they couldn’t bear to use the barebones facilities you provide your own students. If we’re expected to withstand subhuman conditions and still work hard to provide you with good grades, good scores and a good reputation, you should try living like us. See how you like it.

If you want us to act maturely, treat us professionally. Work a little harder to guarantee students one of their most basic rights, and maybe we’ll feel less like kids in time-out and a little more like we want to proudly represent the Bruin Way.

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