Pennsylvania School Combats Vandalism By Requiring Boys to Ask for Toilet Paper

Today in awkward news, at least one parent is upset that boys at a Pennsylvania high school now have to request toilet paper before using the restroom.

After two years of repeated toilet paper-related vandalism, officials at Mahanoy Area High School took the drastic measure of requiring boys to request and sign out toilet paper at the office or nurse’s office. Boys must then sign the toilet paper back in. (I’m going out on a limb here and assuming they mean the unused toilet paper.)

Mom Karen Yedsena of Mahanoy City spoke up about the matter at a school board meeting, saying that some students are too embarrassed to ask for toilet paper, according to local newspaper The Republican Herald. Ms. Yedsena said that some students go to the nurse’s office, say they’re not feeling well, and go home instead.

High school principal Thomas Smith said he was unaware of any such problem from the monthly reports from the nurse.

“We’ve had serious destruction to our bathrooms for the past two years,” the principal said. “We have a case pending with the police where a bathroom down by our gymnasium was absolutely destroyed. I’m sure Mr. (Robert) Pastucha (district facilities director) could tell you the times that our toilets have been jammed with toilet paper and other papers. And after we took the toilet tissue out of there, people were throwing books. It was our way to try to curb the destruction in the bathrooms.”

Despite its name, Mahanoy City is a small town of less than 5,000 residents, located in the Pocono Mountains in eastern Pennsylvania. Mahanoy Area High School has about 300 students.

What are the important take-home messages from this (not exactly hard-hitting) news story?

  • Gahhhhh potty-training never ends. You’d think you’d be done by the time they hit high school, but apparently not.
  • Related: when your kid says his stomach hurts, your first question will never stop being, “Do you need to poop?”
  • Also related: I have a hard time believing a high school nurse wouldn’t also ask that question.
  • Remember that time your toddler unrolled all the toilet paper and tried to flush it? So much less adorable when teenagers do it.
  • Don’t forget, when you’re teaching your kids the importance of washing their hands after they use the bathroom, you should also mention that destroying public property is wrong.
  • I feel bad for Ms. Yedsena’s kid because the idea of having my mom talk about  my poop at a school board meeting makes me want to shrivel up and die, and I’m a grown adult.

What do you think? Is making students ask for toilet paper a reasonable response to vandalism, or a weird intrusion on privacy?

Read more from Joslyn on Babble and at her blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy. You can also follow Joslyn on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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