School Installing Metal Gates To Stop Bathroom Use In Between Class Slammed

Schools in the United States are underfunded by nearly $150 billion every year, according to think tank the Century Foundation.

About 30 million children are being "robbed" of the resources they need to succeed in the classroom, the foundation said in a 2020 study. Yet a post on Reddit suggests one high school has decided to spend a chunk of its budget installing security gates to block access to the bathrooms.

User Lord-Zippy posted a photo of a gate on Reddit's "Mildly Infuriating" thread, where it has garnered over 106,000 upvotes in less than 24 hours.

The post is headed: "During the summer, my school installed metal gates over the bathrooms to keep us from going between class." The photo shows a locked gate at the entrance to restrooms signposted as male and accessible toilets.

One Reddit user commented simply: "Prison?"

Lord-Zippy replied: "Feels like it. They also have teachers guard them for the whole 4 minutes that they are put down."

The original poster added in the comments that the toilets were only locked down between periods. "They let us go during class though, which makes no sense because no one is guarding the bathrooms during class."

Another Redditor commented: "Seems important, not like they don't need that money for anything else."

Lord-Zippy replied: "Ha exactly. The ceiling in like 3 classrooms has a ton of water damage and was leaking for a couple days last year."

The Century Foundation's research found that "school districts with high concentrations of Latinx and Black students are much more likely to be underfunded than majority white districts, and face much wider funding gaps, an average deficit of more than $5,000 per student."

The study revealed that the districts with the biggest cumulative funding gaps were Los Angeles Unified in California, which had a $5.77 billion funding gap and 33 percent poverty; Clark County School District in Nevada, which had a $2.62 billion funding gap and 25 percent poverty; and Houston ISD, Texas, with a $2.61 billion funding gap and 33 percent poverty.

Newsweek has not been able to verify where the photo was taken and has contacted Lord-Zippy for comment.

One Redditor suggested that the gates "could potentially be a direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Not to mention many states have enacted Ally's Law [providing access to restrooms] or a version of it. This school is playing with fire by doing this unless they are only closing one set of restrooms while leaving others open."

According to the National Education Association, schools across the country provide special educational services to more than 7 million children, or 14 percent of public school students.

Enoch Burke School Teacher
Stock image of lockers in a high school corridor. One school has invested in metal gates to block access to its bathrooms, according to a Reddit post. Family Collect