Shortly after San Diego schools kicked off the new year in September, 21,000 students at 11 campuses were locked in classrooms for up to three hours following a rash of violent — and ultimately false — threats.
Not surprisingly, some students had to use a bathroom.
Patrick Henry High School was among those to provide students with security escorts to restrooms, which critics later called dangerous. Some Grossmont High School classrooms made due with trash cans in adjoining rooms during a five-hour lock-down in February, upsetting parents who raised concerns about hygiene.
In a sign of the times, schools locally and nationwide are stocking up on emergency bathroom provisions to make increasingly frequent classroom lockdowns safer and more comfortable for students and educators.
The San Diego Unified School District is preparing to purchase toilet kits for every classroom that needs one at a cost of $180,000 to $200,000. Grossmont Union High School District has also purchased the kits for classrooms at about $30 each.
“School lockdowns are difficult and stressful times and the ability to use a restroom, even in the form of the emergency kit, is something we believe will help students and staff through the situation,” said Drew Rowlands, San Diego Unified’s chief operations officer.