Privacy takes a hit at Basalt school in response to graffiti | AspenTimes.com
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Privacy takes a hit at Basalt school in response to graffiti

Sarah S. Chung

Communal bathrooms have taken on a heightened meaning for girls at Basalt Middle School – a response to repeated acts of vandalism.

After three separate incidents of graffiti in one girls bathroom at the school, the doors of the bathroom stalls were removed by school officials. They will be re-installed only when the culprits are found, according to Principal Gary Halstad.

“I don’t consider it drastic in light of the repeated nature of the acts and especially in light of the fact that they knew full well this would happen,” Halstad said.

A sign warned students that the doors would come down if the vandalism continued. That was after “not only personal, but also pretty gross” graffiti was written and cleaned off the stalls twice, Halstad said.

The stall doors were removed after a third incident on Tuesday, he said.

According to Halstad, the decision was made with the support of the faculty and three parents who contacted the school to question the move. They “understand and appreciate” the decision, he said.

As for the student body, “Of course they’re not thrilled about it, but we feel [the removal of the doors] is one impetus to get the situation resolved,” Halstad said. “They don’t see it as snitching or ratting, but as a way to keep a healthy school environment.”

There are three other girls bathrooms at the middle school, with doors, so girls who may be uncomfortable with the doorless stalls don’t have to use that particular facility.

“Young ladies deserve to have some privacy. There is a sensitivity, especially at adolescence. I am aware of that and they do have other options to holding it in all day,” Halstad said.

According to Halstad, administrators have some leads on the identity of the vandals. Halstad said he hopes the situation will be resolved soon, so the doors can be returned to their hinges.


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