New Milford High School reopens bathrooms following student backlash
NEW MILFORD — All of the bathrooms at New Milford High School have been reopened during the school day, after complaints from students regarding a new bathroom policy introduced to combat vaping.
“Over the last several days, we have listened to concerns from students and parents regarding open access to all restrooms,” Superintendent of Schools Kerry Parker said in a press release on Friday afternoon. “As a result, we will be opening all restrooms during the school day for student use. The dialogue regarding ending vaping by students will continue and options will continue to be explored.”
Administrators at the high school and district level decided to close some restrooms for limited times this year as a way to better supervise the other open ones, but faced backlash from students.
“The high school, along with schools nationally, has seen a dramatic increase in this behavior,” Parker said in the release.
The move to reopen them comes after students posted an online petition that has received more than 430 signatures.
The petition, which was posted by Nicollette Barile, calls the new bathroom policy unfair and disruptive and says it is negatively affecting the students’ learning.
“I believe that instead of punishing every student in the school for the actions of a few students vaping in the bathrooms, the students who smoke in the bathrooms should be directly punished,” the petition states. “Punishing students who are truly doing the best they can to adhere to the rules is extremely unfair and damaging.”
Students said the new policy was hard because the bathrooms are closed during transitions between classes and the top floor bathrooms are completely closed during lunch, meaning students with classes on the third floor during this time have to go all the way to the first floor, wasting time they could be learning.