Graffiti covers the walls of a bathroom stall.

Despite recent improvements in bathroom monitoring, Andover High continues to struggle with cleanliness and functionality in its student bathrooms. Clogged toilets and graffiti are a frequent problem. Occasionally, chewing  tobacco and cigarettes contribute to a less-than-welcoming environment. At times, the severity of these issues force custodians to close the bathrooms for maintenance.

The state of the bathrooms is common knowledge for most students. Many have complained about the cigarettes found in the girls’ bathrooms. The bathroom on the second floor English hallway in particular is notorious among students. The smell caused by students smoking cigarettes is often overpowering.

Principal Dr. Sharkey announced recently that banned substances, specifically chewing tobacco, were found in the boys’ bathroom. As a result of students throwing cans of chewing tobacco into the toilets, certain bathrooms, such as the ones in the language and math hallways, have been left clogged and flooding the floors. Bearing ‘out of order’ signs, many of the boys’ bathrooms have recently been closed for days because of this chronic issue.

Fragments of chewing tobacco can be found in the boys’ bathroom sinks.

“It’s gotten much better since the beginning of the year; there are more broken than dirty things.” said Assistant Principal Mr. Phillips. “But that’s expected with a school this big.”

A group of 12 students made up of juniors and seniors regularly check on the bathrooms about two times a day. When there is a problem that needs to be fixed, they write down the issue in a log book in the Main Office. Mr. Phillips checks the book three to four times daily, doing the best he can to keep

A boys’ bathroom experiences flooding as a result of clogged toilets.

the bathrooms safe and clean. Though most of the time the problems can be fixed immediately, huge problems prompt maintenance lasting up to a few days.

Despite efforts to keep the bathrooms acceptable, further efforts may be needed in order to ensure ideal conditions.

A stall has flooding and litter.
A stall has clogged toilets, flooding, and toilet paper strewn on the ground.