Students, parents angered at Austintown Fitch high school bathrooms being closed
"It's been an ongoing issue for...a while now," says Austintown Fitch sophomore Faith Kashasha; she understands why the principals had to do something.
"Vaping in the bathrooms, using illegal substances, vandalizing," she said.
The situation all came to a head last Friday.
"They had put almost like chain link fencing across six of the school bathrooms, three girls' and three boys', leaving one boys' and one girls' bathroom open in the very front of the building."
The decision caused some problematic ripple effects.
Some students became late for their next class.
Others have medical conditions made worse by the long lines.
"You could be waiting there for five to 20 minutes to just get into the bathroom," said Faith. "The school never addressed it, never really gave us a reason other than the vaping, the vandalizing."
When we asked her mom Megan whether the school ever sent a letter or notice home with students, she said it "never notified any of us parents that they were doing it at all."
Only after 21 News pressed the district for answers did a spokesperson say that "some" of the bathrooms were indeed closed, and that they'll be back open "very soon".
It all leaves parents just as upset as their kids.
"If you know there's a specific group of children doing the vandalism that is vaping constantly, go after those specific children," said Megan Kashasha. "Don't punish all the students."
The district did not say specifically when all the bathrooms at Fitch will be back open.
Austintown police tell 21 News they hadn't gotten any reports of vandalism at the school.
In the meantime, another student has started a petition against the school's decision.
It's about halfway to its signature goal.