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Locked-out bathrooms at jefferson High

December 27, 2001

Locked-out bathrooms at jefferson High



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


SHENENDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - At least one member of the Jefferson County Board of Education is concerned about a decision to lock student bathrooms at Jefferson High School because of bomb threats.

About a month ago, high school administrators started locking bathrooms during classes to prevent students from planting bomb threat messages in the bathrooms, Superintendent of Schools Jud Romine said.

Between eight and 10 bomb threats have been made at the school, most of them in the form of messages scrawled on stalls in student bathrooms, Romine said.

Bathrooms are locked during class time because school officials believe that is when a lot of the threatening notes were being written in the bathroom, Romine said.

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"Locking the bathrooms, I think, is a pretty drastic step," Board of Education President Larry Togans said.

Togans brought up the issue during a Board of Education meeting last week. Togans said he became concerned about the decision after he read a story about the locked bathrooms in the high school's student newspaper.

The newspaper story suggested the school was solving a problem by creating another, Togans said.

Togans said he is concerned about students who may be sick at school and have to use the bathroom immediately.

"Who suffers the most? The majority," said Togans.

When students want to use the restroom during classes, they have to put their name on a sign-up sheet to get a key, said Togans.

After Togans raised his concerns, Romine said he talked with high school principal Susan Wall about the situation.

Wall said she received no complaints and that locking the facilities appears to be achieving its purpose, Romine said.

"It seems to be working fine," said Romine.

Class time is the only time the bathrooms are locked, Romine said. They are open in the morning, at lunchtime and during class changes.

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