A Look into the Bathrooms at Groves High School


Nature Calls! No matter how hard we might try to avoid it, everyone has to go. Relieving yourself in a personal bathroom is not always an option—sometimes you have no choice but to use the dreaded public bathroom. Public restrooms are notorious for their grimy toilets and murky sinks, and these unkempt facilities often provide users with barely sanitary conditions. 

Faculty at Groves have the option to use a different bathroom at a different location if they choose. The students at Wylie E. Groves High School do not have this ability(?). They are forced to do their business in the dingy bathrooms the school provides. Groves Student, Jake Raznick claims, “The filth of these bathrooms makes them almost unusable!”

The poor condition of the bathrooms is partially due to the student body. Often students vandalize, soil or pollute the bathrooms provided for them. The boys’ bathrooms are a regular victim of bathroom abuse.  Not all of the blame is put on the students though: the custodial staff often fail to keep the bathrooms clean. However, pinning the blame on a particular group does nothing to solve the issues Groves HighSchool is having keeping the bathrooms clean.

For example, during the 2021-2022 and 2020-2021 school years, the water at Groves became infested with legionella. Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause a serious type of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease. When Legionella gets into a building’s water supply, those who come into close contact with the water are at a high risk of breathing in the bacteria and becoming ill. It took Groves over two years to fix this problem! In the meantime, they required students to wear masks in the bathroom not due to Covid, but due to Legionella. 

Due to the poor quality of the bathrooms and the recent Legionella outbreak, Groves bathrooms are not very popular among the students. Many are displeased with the limited space provided, and the constant state of filth the bathrooms are in.  Spencer Goldberg, a junior at Groves, believes he speaks for everyone at Groves when he said, 

“The bathrooms are in such bad condition that I often try to avoid using the bathroom during school. It disgusts me that there is toilet water on the bathroom floor, and the sinks are filled with half chewed gum.”

This stall is missing equipment and its toilet is overflown with toilet paper. (Gabe Faber)

This is an example of an abused stall in the Groves Boys bathroom near the commons December 13 2022.

 This bathroom is often used by students in art and health classes.

 Constant bathroom malfunctions and unsanitary equipment cause for some disgusting bathrooms. According to Groves Student, Julia Feber, “Nearly everyday, a sink isn’t working, a toilet is overflowing or the floor is damp.”

The custodial staff are not solely responsible. Students frequently trash the bathrooms, to the point where the custodial staff is not able to keep up with the cleaning. Mrs. Mckenzie the hall monitor at Groves had this to say about the abuse, “Bathroom abuse places the biggest burden on our custodial staff.  It makes it difficult for the student population when I have to lock a bathroom and they have to walk further.” Many students often complain that the bathrooms are disgusting or that they are locked, but those problems are largely their own fault. Students often use substances in the bathrooms and mistreat the equipment, forcing staff like Mrs. Mckenzie to lock the bathrooms.

 Some students are great at respecting the bathrooms, however, they still have to deal with filthy bathrooms because of the few who choose to abuse it. 

Daniel Rosenfield, another junior at Groves, believes this is unfair. 

“I don’t like that when a few kids decide to mess up the bathrooms, everyone has to deal with it. Everytime I try to use the bathroom here(Groves High School) something always goes wrong. I can’t tell you how many times the sink water got all of my clothes because the water pressure was through the roof, ” said Rosenfield.

 Daniel, and many other students are punished with almost unusable bathrooms due to a few of their immature peers. The Groves staff tries to help with the bathroom abuse by locking up select bathrooms. Not only is this a huge inconvenience to the honest students who choose to respect the bathrooms, but it also causes the bathroom abuses to all go to the few remaining open bathrooms— forcing the honest students who need to use the restroom into being exposed to vapes and other nicotine devices that are frequently used in high school bathrooms. 


The trash cans in the boys bathroom are not routinely emptied due to insufficient cleaning strategies that Groves uses. (Gabe Faber)

Taken on December 13, 2022 this picture of a trash can in the boys bathroom near the science wing  overflows with toilet paper due to the lack of care students provide in the bathrooms on a daily basis.

Benji Cook, a sophomore at Groves, states, “The bathrooms always smell terrible! The smell kind of smells like a mixture of unflushed urine and sewage.” After further investigations, a clear pattern of students complaining about the bathroom’s smell arose. Benji is not the only one complaining about the bathrooms, Grace Razncik, a student attending Groves highschool stated, “the smell in the bathrooms here at Groves just doesn’t sit well with me.” It is a common belief that the smells formulate due to student’s refusal to flush toilets, and staff’s lack of attention to detail when cleaning bathrooms.

Groves has a pattern of neglecting their bathrooms, often multiple sinks don’t work at a time and the bathrooms frequently lack soap, toilet paper, or paper towels. Their rejection has consequences, the filth of the bathrooms was very likely the reason legionella found its way into the bathrooms because according to the website cdc.gov, legionella usually thrives in poorly kept water systems. Thus, another bacteria infection is very likely to occur because the Groves bathrooms have not been substantially improved.

Nature Calls! and it doesn’t discriminate whether or not you are at school. At Groves, using the bathrooms is often a burden, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a plethora of ways Groves can improve their bathrooms. Doing simple things like hiring more custodial staff, or purchasing more sustainable equipment can exponentially improve the bathrooms. The bathrooms haven’t been totally left out to dry,  Groves has been making an effort to improve their bathrooms. For Instance, they have been installing new sinks and hiring staff to monitor the bathrooms. These steps paired with many other future steps have the potential to propel Groves’s bathrooms into admirable bathrooms that attract students rather than deter them.