Behind the Stalls: Vaping Problems


The bell rings and you have five minutes–around three hundred seconds–to make it to the bathroom and back. You make your way to the bathroom and there is a line out the door. Defeated, you turn around and make your way to class having been unable to relieve yourself. The problem? Misconduct in the bathrooms.

Many teachers have had to create new bathroom policies due to misuse of bathroom privileges. A portion of students use bathroom time as an escape from class and the duties that come with being present; others use bathroom time sparingly as recommended by the teachers. 

The students who make an effort to be involved in classroom activities often receive the repercussions of others misconduct in efforts to create an equal environment of discipline. While this may be easier to implement in theory, it is harsh on those who actually need time to leave class briefly. 

While the suggestion “just wait until passing time” seems ideal in this case, it’s also proven to be impossible. Bathroom usage for the female population at this school is hard to navigate. With the lack of supervision, a lot goes on behind the scenes that is being missed. 

The handicapped stall is notorious among most students as the “vaping spot.” With little availability during passing time, often you are left with few options when it comes to which stall you choose. This means that many students find themselves surrounded by vape smoke at least two to three times a week. With efforts to make it to class on time, there is really nothing a student can do. 

According to the CDC, 3.02 million high school students smoke vape products which makes up almost 19.6% of the teenage population. Simply being exposed to vape smoke can increase your risk of developing bronchitis symptoms and shortness of breath as according to the American Heart Association.

So why are there vape products on school campuses? According to the student handbook, the following rules are implemented here at CHS pertaining to vape and tobacco: “Students shall not use or possess any tobacco products or tobacco look-alikes at school or at any school activity. In all cases the tobacco products, lighters, e-cigarettes, vapor cigarettes, etc., will be confiscated.” 

There are rules in place for confiscation but who is assigned to confiscate these products? The administrative staff is all male making it hard for there to be bathroom supervision in the female bathrooms and it’s not exactly in a teacher’s job description to deal with matters of discipline. With more female supervision and hall monitors, I think the bathroom could be a safer place as it should be.