Tennessee High School Paints Over Bathroom Mirrors Because Students Were Late to Class

A high school in Tennessee has been criticized after an administrator painted over bathroom mirrors used by students, claiming they were too much of a distraction.

A Hamilton County School District spokesperson claimed that an administrator painted over the mirrors at Chattanooga Central High School last Friday because students had been spending too long in the bathrooms instead of going to their classrooms, WTVC reported.

The school district spokesperson declined to name the administrator who was responsible for the decision, which came to light last week after an image of the unusable mirrors was shared to social media by a graduate of the public high school called Shelby Campbell.

Campbell wrote about the topic on Facebook after her sister, who is currently enrolled at the school, discovered all of the mirrors had been covered. "[Someone] spray painted all the mirrors in all the bathrooms... even prisons have mirrors," the former pupil fumed in her post.

She wrote: "School isn't supposed to be miserable... yes, the work is important, but it is still a crucial part of social development and it can still be a place for fun!! So, I am reaching out to my fellow graduates to speak up for our alma mater and for these students. They deserve the same experience we had." The Facebook post attracted hundreds of comments and shares.

Attention Central High School graduates and parents!! This is what is going on there now in the absence of Finley...

Posted by Shelby Campbell on Friday, September 6, 2019

Campbell told WTVC her mother filed a complaint with the school district last Friday and the principal, Phil Iannarone, had addressed the issue in an email the same day.

"There was an issue with some mirrors being covered today in our school bathrooms, but those have been corrected to clearly reflect the images of our excellent students at Central," read the email from Iannarone, who took up the position as principal in May this year. He told local media that he took steps to fix the mirrors after becoming aware of the issue on Friday.

Steve Highlander, a member of the high school board, confirmed to local media outlet WBTV that he had received complaints from parents about the issue via email and social media.

Campbell said that administrators should "just enforce the rules they already have" in the student handbook, which is available online and has several rules around lateness. She noted both male and female bathroom mirrors were covered last week.

"They [students] are teenagers, they are not in elementary school," Campbell said. "Being able to walk in and make sure nothing is in your teeth, or make sure your makeup is fine or your hair isn't crazy, being able to walk out confidently [is important] when there is bullying, so much going on, and people already have such poor self-image in high school."