ANHS Bathrooms


After the hybrid school year, students have come back to campus and returned to using the school bathrooms. Many have noticed a drastic change in what the bathroom is used for, as many have claimed to see kids smoking and items stolen due to the TikTok trend, “Devious Licks.”

   Throughout the last few weeks, many bathrooms have been closed, often only leaving one open at a time. Proctors have also begun monitoring the amount of people going in and out of the bathrooms to prevent further issues. Assistant Principal Mr. Jindra has stated that, “Addiction to nicotine has risen so high. During the pandemic there was a lot of uncertainty where students may or may not have gotten addicted to nicotine and now that we’re back to a full time schedule, that addiction makes it hard to get through the day without needing to have some nicotine fix.”

   Many students are concerned about the problem and feel it has gotten out of control. They are often met with vape juice the moment they walk in to use the bathroom. 

    “[The bathrooms] are horrible, everyone vapes and makes the air disgusting. Please fix it,” stated Kiana Zerehgar (10). 

    To combat the smoking and vape issue, Mr. Jindra says that, “We have developed education that we’re trying to work with kids as we catch them in the process instead of—they still get a disciplinary consequence—but we’re also providing education through tobacco cessation organizations. They have to take a test, a video, to at least educate themselves (parents do too). Rather than consequences every time to correct the behavior, we’re trying to educate to correct the behavior.”

     The students go through a thirty minute webinar. It’s through the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).  

    When dealing with the problem on campus during the school day, Mr. Jindra notes that, “It is very difficult to get every kid all the time but we’re patrolling the bathrooms as much as we can and they get brought in. I would say that probably at least two-three times a week. Hopefully that number will start to decline. But I do know that it’s an issue, and it’s not just at Aliso Niguel High. It’s at every school. We talk about that in our administrative meetings about ‘what can we do next?’ and really just about education and trying to get them to wean themselves off of it. But it’s just a slow process.” 

    The issue of smoking and vaping amongst teens has been described as a pandemic in itself. “Sometimes you wish you could have somebody patrolling the bathroom every day all day and monitor it. But then what would the outcome of that be? You’re preventing bathroom use. But is that going to stop the problem? They’re going to find other ways to do it. And when you can’t find the opportunity to hit that, that leads to the mental health piece. You fall off the deep end and kids struggle. Bad things happen. It’s a moving target where you have to find a balance between,” says Mr. Jindra. 

Other areas of concern regarding the bathrooms include: doors getting stuck or not locking properly, lack of toilet paper or paper towels, broken sinks and toilets, groups eating in bathrooms and blocking stalls, Cheeto bags in urinals and vandalism on the stalls. On the more odd side, the boys bathroom had a couch and there once was a live “concert” in the bathroom. 

“There are no mirrors—they’re slabs of metal—and the lighting is really bad inside of the bathrooms. Not only that, you see, like, disturbing drawings in the bathrooms. The doors and locks are broken too,” sighs Kaylin Cheung (9). 

“Unfortunately, the school bathrooms are quite dirty and at times out of necessities, such as paper towels and toilet paper in some stalls. I would love to see an implementation of mirrors and perhaps a mural in the bathrooms to make it more lively. I also think that it would be great if feminine products are made available in the girls bathroom as a way to provide for those who need them,” suggests Amanda Zidron (11).