McKinney North High School from Texas has decided to remove the doors to the bathroom entrances, invoking an outcry from both parents and students, as a preventative measure to “keep kids safe.”
Rumors have been circulating among students that the doors were removed because of illicit sexual behavior in the loos.
One high school student said she’s seen some questionable activities in the women’s restroom. “I’ve walked into the bathroom and seen girls in the bathroom with guys,” Sarah O’Kerke told KDAF-TV.
Another student agreed. “I heard the reason they took (the doors) off was because they caught a freshman couple having sex in the bathroom,” Avniel Guerra said.
However, the high school disagrees. McKinney High School spokesperson Cody Cunningham said in this instance, the measure was carried for student’s safety and is because of reports of students fighting.
“The students felt like the reason we were removing them was because of some inappropriate sexual behavior in the restrooms, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” Cody Cunningham told nbcdfw.com.
Cody Cunningham told CBS Local in Dallas-Fort Worth that it’s a common practice in newer schools. “Often times…they do take off or omit the exterior doors to the restroom and really it’s just a supervision issue.”
Parents are upset that it’s an invasion of their children’s privacy, but Cody Cunningham argues that many changes have been made in the last 50 years to protect their student’s safety.
The restrooms, the schools say, still allow privacy, as there is no line of sight from the hallway into the restrooms, thanks to a half-wall.
However, Texas has consistently been a state with alarmingly high teen pregnancy rates.
According to a report by the Guttmacher Institute, Texas ranks fourth in the nation for the number of teen pregnancies, with 88 pregnancies per 1,000 women, aged 15-19. The report ranked pregnancy trends from 1986 to 2006.
It is first in the country for teen birth rates, according to study. While the state – along with Florida and New York – has received considerable abstinence-education funding in recent years, the numbers are alarming.
This isn’t the first disruption to mar the high school.
In 2006, the McKinney high school made national news for a band of cheerleaders, dubbed “the Fab Five”, who acted out by skipping class, terrorizing their cheer-leading coach, and posting sexually suggestive pictures of themselves on MySpace.
The then-principal ended up resigning as part of a settlement.