Illinois school removes doors from bathroom stalls citing security threat forcing girls to bring blankets for privacy
A central Illinois school is facing severe backlash from parents after their children showed up at school to find the bathroom stalls no longer had doors
A school in the Illinois school district has resorted to drastic measures like removing the doors of bathroom stalls as a safety precaution after a student wrote a note in the bathroom threatening to shoot up the educational institution.
According to Yahoo News, parents, as well as students, were outraged after officials removed the doors as a precaution to the threat detailed in a note found in the bathroom at Beardstown High School. That said, students were forced to take blankets from their respective homes to hang them up in the stalls to maintain privacy, The Epoch Times reports.
The news outlet quoted Juan Juarez, a Beardstown High School student, who said, “Mostly girls have been bringing blankets from their house and hanging it up in the stalls so people can’t see them… Yesterday people started putting their shoes and boots in front of the stall so people would know they’re in the bathroom."
After privacy concerns were raised by female students, the district announced they would be specially permitted to use a private restroom in the nurse's office.
“You have to understand when kids have a place to spend time, whether it’s a minute or five minutes sometimes things happen whether it’s good, bad or otherwise,” Beardstown Superintendent Ron Gilbert said. “It has helped limit some of the things that were taking place.”
“Restrooms are for one purpose only,” Gilbert told the State Journal-Register, upholding that safety comes first. “We understand everyone’s concerns. We’re not going to put people in situations that are harmful to anyone.”
“If you’re going to spend a bunch of time in there not using the restroom for what it’s for, you have to take some measures to keep everybody safe," he added.
Speaking of the door-less bathrooms, Gilbert explained the school is dealing with four law-enforcement agencies at the moment. “We don’t want anything to be permanent. We’d love to have some norms back, too," he said. “I just want people to understand when you’re dealing with school safety, people want every timeline and minute detail. We can’t do that. We’re dealing with minors, and we’re also dealing with law enforcement.”
Aside from the aforementioned precaution, the school has taken additional steps to safeguard the children. According to ABC12, students who attend high school and junior high are only allowed to enter and exit through a single door. School officials are currently carrying out random searches at after-school events to prepare for the imminent threat.
The Beardstown High School was placed on lockdown on March 22 after an incident at the institute. While the lockdown was lifted later in the day, it is still unclear if the move was related to the note posted in the restroom.