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HILLSVILLE — Citing issues with privacy and harassment, a Carroll County High School student has asked officials to proceed with improvements at the male restrooms there.
Cody Spencer asked the Carroll School Board members during their December meeting to give some attention to providing privacy improvements in the male student bathrooms at the high school.
While the female student and faculty restrooms have stalls and doors, none of the male student bathrooms do, he said.
Spencer showed the board pictures of the wide-open bathrooms as part of his comments during citizens time. A toilet sits in a corner, just inches from the urinals with no divider in between. There are no dividers between the urinals, or between the urinals and a sink.
“I feel like this is obviously a big issue because of student privacy,” he said. “Students are harassed and bullied because of these issues.”
Some people would not feel comfortable using the bathroom in such exposed conditions, he added.
Schools Superintendent Greg Smith noted that he had talked to Spencer about this issue in the past. “It was anticipated that the school construction would alleviate some of the concerns that he shared with me last year,” the superintendent said.
Please don’t delay any longer, Spencer asked. “I feel like the six months that it may take before this is placed into effect leads to a whole ‘nother semester of students having to hold it until they get home or being harassed because of the issue,” he said. “I feel like maybe it should be addressed sooner.”
Smith responded that he has been talking with schools maintenance director Eddie Vaughn about this to come up with a solution.
Knowing that construction work in the Phase III project at the high school may not get to the renovation of existing bathrooms, officials have begun to allocate maintenance funds to take care of that, Smith said.
From the audience at the meeting, Vaughn said he’s getting pricing on partitions and planning to have his department do the installations.
Not all existing bathrooms were improved in the Phase I school projects, so the maintenance department tackled that job, he said.
“We can’t go out and do them all at one time — it’s just too big a job,” Vaughn said. “But we will address them one at a time over a period of time.”