Vandals to blame for bathroom closures


Megan Mahon


Students often meet this sign when looking for a bathroom, but those frustrated by frequent bathroom closures may need to look in the mirror ー once they find one. 

Dr. Joel Henneke and Dr. Tony Lott have the authority to determine when a bathroom should be closed, and in most cases, students’ lack of integrity and respect leads to closures. 

“Actions of a few have an impact on the masses,” Henneke said, referring to bathrooms being defaced. 

Henneke decided to stop addressing the misconduct and instead just lock bathrooms after their continuous mistreatment. He said he wants every bathroom open all the time, but would like to be “proactive and vigilant to increase accountability” by locking the restrooms rather than simply asking for a change in behavior.


Many bathrooms close for extended periods due to student behavior.

The custodial staff is unfortunately held responsible for the extra messes created by students. They noted some of the unpleasant things found in the restrooms: paper towels on the floor, unflushed toilets, food scraps, spit on the mirrors and sinks, water left running to spread on the counter and floor, and so on.

Head custodian Catherine Austin admits that when these behaviors increase, it can be disheartening. 

“We’ve been doing it for years, so [this] doesn’t bother us, “she said, “but when it’s excessive, it becomes frustrating.”

Many of the custodians on her staff have worked at Homewood for more than 10 or 15 years and continue to do so because they enjoy the work, they said. Still, when speaking with The Homewood Tricorne, the staff asked that students treat the school bathrooms as if they were at home and show maturity by keeping them as tidy as possible.

Then, and only then, will the bathrooms reopen.