Behind the bathroom sign-ins

Addison Michael and Ashlyn Hoffmann

Dulaney High School’s (DHS) bathroom sign-in policy has become a common topic of discussion among students since it was implemented after the return from virtual learning. Students were originally required to sign in and out on a paper with sections for a name, room number, time and additional comments. Over the next year, the system underwent changes that were hoped to increase the efficiency of the sign-ins – one being the removal of a sign-out time. 

The policy was first put in place by Assistant Principal Constance Dean. Initially, its purpose was to monitor student use of the restrooms following quarantine. The idea was that if administrators knew when and which bathroom was used, they could more easily track the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, the school board found the system to be highly effective in preventing students from skipping class in the restrooms. 

Currently, the sign-in is utilized by school administration to figure out who is repeatedly using the bathroom to skip, hangout or partake in other activities besides being in class. Administration hopes to find patterns of students abusing their right to the restroom to prevent further behavior.

The hope is for this to be a temporary system; they plan on lifting it once students have proven themselves to be responsible enough without one. 

“Our goal is to help students self-modulate their behaviors so they don’t need to be monitored,” said Dean.

Over the past few months, the policy has been ignored by many. Administration finds it important that students understand that it is only there to help them. By keeping students focused on their school work, they are not only doing just that, but also providing a safe place to use the restroom.

It’s not set up to be a punishment. It’s set up more as a preventative to try to help kids make good choices about their time,” said Dean.

Administrators are trying their best to improve the system as it is not perfect. In fact, they had a meeting on Nov. 29. to discuss potential changes. 

As always, the school board is open to suggestions on how they can make the school a better place including the bathroom system. If students have any ideas, they should not hesitate to inform their administrators. Until then, continue to sign into the bathroom as it is in place for the benefit of all DHS students.