Gloucester HS students sue ‘lack of privacy’ over missing bathroom doors | TBEN News

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A student at a high school in eastern Ottawa says officials have been too slow to respond to concerns about the lack of doors in some boys’ toilets, raising concerns about students’ privacy.

“I want the school to be held accountable for it,” said the Grade 12 Gloucester High School student. TBEN News has agreed not to name him because of fears of academic repercussions.

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The student said he avoided using toilets at school from grade 9 because vaping and smoking were uncontrolled.

Instead, he has used the facilities down the street in a plaza, “which is very inconvenient and off-putting,” he said.

This is an upstairs bathroom. (Submitted)

When he tried a school bathroom again last May, he noticed the missing doors and assumed they would be replaced. When they hadn’t been repaired by the time June rolled around, he reported them to the headmaster, who said he’d look into them, according to the student.

“No sequel,” the student said.

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Summer passed and in late August, Sabreen Abu’s son also marked the missing doors on a tour for new grade 9 families, she said.

“I went to Gloucester High School over 20 years ago and it wasn’t like that,” Abu said. “It’s very sad to see.”

Her son also walks to the square, she said.

Students speaking to TBEN News across the street from the school on Friday also expressed their concerns.

“It’s a lack of privacy,” said grade 12 student Eyad Elbadawi. “I don’t think anyone would feel comfortable doing their own business without the door.”

“It’s a lack of privacy,” said grade 12 student Eyad Elbadawi. (Guy Quenneville/TBEN)

“It’s inconvenient when you need to, you know,” repeated Edan Tudge, a grade 12 student, adding that missing barn doors have been an “on and off” problem since 2019.

Another student shared a photo he said he took in June that shows no dividing wall between two toilets.

A student showed a photo of two toilets without a partition. (Submitted)

He said it still is.

Stalls fixed next week: school board

Gloucester High School is represented by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

A spokesman for the school board said via email on Friday that some toilet cubicles were damaged and need to be replaced “due to vandalism”.

The unnamed student said some stalls have been vandalized with markings, “but that doesn’t mean you remove them and take away students’ privacy.”

“Even though the vandalism was in May, they’ve had months in the summer to bring the doors back, which they still haven’t done,” he said.

A spokesman for the school board representing Gloucester High School said the board plans to fix the stalls next week. (Guy Quenneville/TBEN)

After TBEN News contacted the school board on Friday, the spokesperson said the board plans to fix the stalls next week.

Meanwhile, “eight additional stalls or private bathrooms are available for male students on the ground floor of the school,” the spokesperson added. “Additional storage facilities and private bathrooms are available upstairs.”