Bathroom Monitor Conversation Brings Conflict to OLHS


Paige Oatney, Catherine Christy

District-wide conversation has been sparked regarding a new petition that some want put into place. The petition grew out of safety concerns following a recent brawl at Olentangy Orange High School. Many parents want monitors put inside the bathrooms to regulate the activity inside.
It is unclear whether administrators will follow through in placing these monitors but this has not stopped rumors and speculations from being passed around. Students at OLHS have taken the news of the petition and expressed opposition to the idea.
A fight occurred Friday, May 3 in the boys bathroom and was recorded on a cell phone. It was shared among the rest of the school, and later the district. A younger student was cornered and injured after a confrontation. The older student who inflicted the injuries and confronted the younger student was arrested on Monday by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office for charges of felonious assault. Parents in the district then took to different forms of social media to express the concerns of the safety of their children.
The main concern expressed in the petition surrounds the wellbeing of students and hopes to see change in how they are overseen. Especially in parts of the school that security cameras don’t reach. This is why some parents have called for bathroom monitors to surveil the movement inside to ensure the safety of students because placing cameras in public restrooms, including public schools, is illegal if those recorded haven’t consented to it.
Amanda Cooke started a petition called “Restroom Monitors for Olentangy High Schools and Middle Schools,” stating on there that, “this fight could have been prevented had a restroom monitor been [present].” The petition is aimed at the Olentangy school board, wanting action to be taken over after the incident. Since it has been posted, over 800 concerned community members have signed it.
Many other petitions, though, were started against Cooke’s original one, including “#PoopInPeace,” created by Josie Vance ‘20, from Olentangy High School. She stated in her post that “this is a unacceptable invasion of our privacy. To have someone watch you pee in a urinal or have someone peek through the cracks while you take a poop is creepy and disgusting.” More than 2,000 people have signed this, promoting their agreement with Vance’s petition.
Needless to say, Olentangy hasn’t said anything on the matter other than an official statement saying that the security of students is of utmost importance and that violence will not be tolerated. Putting these bathroom monitors in place has yet to be confirmed or denied by Olentangy, and until they release a statement on it, only speculation and want for these monitors will continue to grow.