The State of SHS Bathrooms–Students Meet with Administrators to Learn More


Student restrooms have been the source of complaints among the student body at SHS

Following a recent Scituation opinion essay regarding the troublesome state of SHS bathrooms, several student journalists met with SHS principal Dr. Lisa Maguire and SPS assistant director of facilities Robert Dillon to gain further insight regarding this issue. 

Maguire began by admitting that student concerns over the state of SHS bathrooms are no surprise, as students have been complaining in various group settings for months. Broken privacy screens, overflowing toilets, and horrible smells represent some of the comments made during the Principal’s Advisory Committee meetings and other forums.

Since beginning his career with Scituate Public Schools eight years ago, Dillon stated that he has replaced broken or missing privacy screens twice and has consistently addressed plumbing issues. 

It was noted that these issues are not a reflection of the SHS custodial staff, who work diligently every day to maintain the cleanliness of all facilities.

Maguire and Dillon explained that renovating the bathrooms at SHS would likely qualify as a capital expense, costing over $25,000. With multiple bathroom repairs, such a project would be a major undertaking, which might not make financial sense when the money could be directed toward keeping students safe or improving the quality of learning. 

At SHS, several facilities have been updated during this academic year, making them more maintenance-friendly. Most notably, the Colby Cutler Fitness Center and the athletic locker rooms have undergone renovations, transforming Scituate athletics and enhancing team morale. Nevertheless, maintaining new locker rooms remains a concern for Dr. Maguire, as she “fears that if they are renovated they will still be treated the same.” Previously, students were known to leave behind their clothes, sports equipment, and even discarded food items. This begs a similar question about the treatment of bathrooms. 

Both Maguire and Dillon repeatedly stated that most students “take good care of bathrooms, classrooms, and the gym,” adding that “no one sets out and says, ‘I am going to ruin the school plumbing today.’” Unfortunately, a few inconsiderate students have compromised the privacy and cleanliness of the restroom facilities for the rest of the student body.

According to Maguire and Dillon, students who are flushing various items–including phones, vapes, or pens–create the leading cause for overflows and clogging, which could be contributing to an unpleasant odor in some of the bathrooms. When these items can not be removed easily, drain shooters need to be used, which can cost between $400-600–or more if a camera is needed.

With respect to missing privacy screens, administrators indicated vandalism appears to be the main issue. Mistreatment of bathroom facilities also causes additional work for the custodial staff. 

It was emphasized that students’ voices are being heard, and locks on the stalls and privacy screens are being updated. With the administration ready to do its part, now it’s up to the students of SHS to be respectful of school property.