Students and administration discuss restroom policy


Victoria Perez '24

The UHSSE girls’ and boys’ bathroom doors.

University High School is not a large school by any means. With only a little over 430 students, we have a diverse yet small student body from all over Connecticut. Even with all the minor mishaps and issues that any high school has, there is one constant that seems to be on the minds of many students in UHSSE: the locked bathrooms.

For much of the 2022 to 2023 school year, many of the bathrooms open for students are locked at different intervals on different floors and on different or both sides of the building. The second-floor and the third-floor bathrooms are typically locked during the first five to ten minutes of each lunch wave, although the bathrooms in the Commons near the lunch serving area remain open during this time.

This has caused quite a bit of confusion for the students as many argue they do not have a lot of time or are not thinking of this situation at the moment when they need to reach the restroom. There is also no clear indicator as to what restrooms are usable other than the door being open or closed.

We decided to reach out to University High School’s principal Sean Tomany about the situation and hopefully get some more clear insight as to what the administration has to say in response to any students who might have questions about it.

“Kids need to be in class,” said Mr. Tomany, emphasizing the importance of students being in the classroom and not loitering in the restrooms. “We have amazing teachers in this building and my number one goal… is to get kids in class. My number one concern is safety and having kids in class.”

Mr. Tomany went on to describe how important it is to him that a school is a place of learning and encouraging students to learn as much as possible. “I do have fun, but I’m making sure I encourage students.”

Mr. Tomany also emphasized how important it is to have our teachers doing the best they can to engage our students and this is one way the administration is trying to help our teachers.

We also decided to talk to some of the students here at UHSSE about the situation to get their take on how they feel about the policy and why they think this policy is in place.

When asked how he felt about the policy, Max Kleykamp ‘25 said he felt it was “annoying because you’ll be in class on one side [of the school] and have to the other side only for it to be locked.” He went on to say how he has had situations where he needed to go to several floors to find the right bathroom.

When asked why he thinks this is the case he said it might be to monitor the bathrooms so students aren’t as inclined to fool around during school. Though, he wishes they would just leave them open instead.

Pacey Mahar ‘23 has a similar sentiment. Mahar, while understanding and agreeing that it could help with students using the restroom as an excuse to mess around and skip, feels it only makes more issues. “I’m very frustrated with the situation, [but] it’s a bad thing for a good reason.” Mahar talked about how he now just decides to use the commons bathroom or wait until he has a class at the University of Hartford to use the restroom.

Lastly, we spoke with Isaiah Brown ‘26 about the policy. Brown had a more neutral stance on the policy but showed concern for other students. “I can see where having to get a pass and start checking the floors and running all over the place, it’s not good for you.” Brown also agreed that if he could change it, he would vote against the policy as it just seems inconvenient to the students.