The topic of restroom accessibility and cleanliness at Long Beach Polytechnic High School was front and center Wednesday night at a school board meeting, with several students voicing their concerns over what some say has been an ongoing problem at the largest school in the Long Beach Unified School District.
“I love my teachers. I love my classmates. It’s an amazing place. It’s a historical place,” LBPHS junior Alivia Seard told KTLA.
Seard, who is not short on school spirit, said the campus restrooms have been a growing problem at the school.
“There are not nearly enough restrooms for over 4,000 students,” she explained. “The restrooms are often locked and if you happen to get to a restroom that isn’t locked, the insides are a disaster.”
The high school junior and several other students spoke out Wednesday night about the situation, demanding that the board take action.
KTLA obtained recent photos of the conditions inside some of the school’s restrooms which showed a broken faucet, damaged stall doors, overflowing trashcans and empty soap and paper towel dispensers.
“There are four male bathrooms and four female bathrooms,” LBPHS student Jack Park said, “And yes, for the whole campus.”
Park said the facilities are often closed entirely due to vandalism and other illicit activities, creating congestion and overcrowding in the bathrooms that are open.
“There’s constant problems with many different issues like vaping, smoking and doing drugs in the bathroom as well, making the bathroom experience very uncomfortable, and very degrading just trying to use the restroom,” he said.
The lack of basic sanitary supplies also creates a health and safety concern. Some of the students said they’d like more staff to monitor the restrooms and they want the district to add temporary restroom facilities until new ones are built.
“Please, we just want to be able to use the restroom like any adult here would be comfortable using,” Seard said.
Major upgrades and new facilities are slated to come to campus late next year after the district approved a bond measure in July 2022. The renovations are expected to cost around $400 million. In the meantime, students say the current state of the school’s restrooms is unacceptable.
KTLA reached out to Long Beach Unified School District officials for comment but has so far not heard back.