Friday morning, Oct. 8, greeted many people with an email from the Dakota Valley School District High School Principal Erik Sommervold detailing steps the school is taking to prevent the continued vandalism in the boys upstairs bathroom.
According to the email, many different areas of vandalism have been occurring inside the bathroom, including damaging stall doors or tearing them off the hinges, breaking toilet and soap dispensers, shredding toilet paper in order to clog toilets, dumping soap packages around the bathroom and breaking tiles when dispensers are ripped from the wall.
“The bathrooms were being restocked with the paper supplies and soap, only for these actions to continue,” Sommervold stated in the email. “Multiple attempts have been made to address this behavior, but, unfortunately, it continues, which is why additional measures have been taken. We simply cannot allow vandalism of our beautiful school to continue.”
Since it is not possible to lock the upstairs bathroom, as there are no doors, the school has decided to use these measures to prevent further vandalism:
• Increased staff supervision of the restrooms.
• Not allowing boys to use the restroom during class. There are many opportunities for boys to use the bathroom throughout the day: in between classes, during morning break and during lunch.
• Not restocking the paper products in the upstairs bathroom. A fully-stocked bathroom is available in the downstairs bathroom.
• Removing the stall doors from the upstairs bathroom to prevent additional doors from being pulled off the hinges. The privacy of using the restroom is available in the downstairs bathroom.
“This continued vandalism, even after concerted efforts to work with our students to get it to stop, is very disappointing and does not represent the ‘DV way,’” Sommervold said. “The vandalism is costly, time-consuming and destructive to our new and beautiful facility. We ask for your [community, parents] support in getting this to stop by visiting with your student about the importance of respecting the school and each other and providing us any information to help us address the student(s) who are specifically responsible. We would love to get back to normal and focusing on instruction and learning.”
Sommervold said he doesn’t believe that this is in connection with the Tik-Tok challenge supporting vandalizing public areas and posting pictures. The videos were finally banned by Tik-Tok. Sommervold said, that while he doesn’t believe it’s tied into the challenge, he does believe that there are a few students who are making poor decisions.