Keeping a school bathroom clean is enough of a challenge without people attempting to vandalize the area. Graffiti and other forms of damage can be quite common. If you find a lot of vandalism in your bathrooms, you could pay hundreds in repairs!
How can you decrease school bathroom vandalism and start saving money on damage repair?
If your school has become a home to vandals, there are steps you can take to discourage students from damaging school bathrooms. Here’s what you can do.
Remove Vandalism Immediately
When students vandalize their school bathrooms, it is often so that they can make a mark and get noticed by other students or faculty. Removing any attempts at vandalism right away is the best way to discourage students from damaging school property.
Have your school janitors inspect school bathrooms frequently for damage and signs of vandalism. The longer students have to notice the damage, the more likely you are to have more vandalism later on. Make sure your janitors are equipped with the proper cleaning supplies to get rid of any graffiti on doors, walls, and appliances in the bathrooms.
You should also strive to repair any damaged property right away. When there is already obvious damage in a space, that changes the way that people view and treat that space; if your school bathrooms are in disrepair, your students are more likely to disrespect it.
Use Graffiti Resistant Materials on Targeted Areas
Are there specific locations around your school that are targeted more than others? If so, then you should consider investing in a graffiti-proof material to cover the area. Graffiti-resistant materials, such as HDPE, are the perfect way to prevent students from marking commonly vandalized areas.
If you are adding a new bathroom in your school, you should avoid using materials that can be easily damaged, such as wood or smooth steel. This will make students less likely to vandalize the area.
Try Different Bathroom Entrances
A good way to discourage vandalism in school bathrooms is to change the style of entrance the bathroom has. Many bathrooms use a turning hallway to provide more privacy to those using the bathroom. While they are great for privacy, they can also increase your likelihood of someone vandalizing the bathroom.
Vandals prefer to work in private; when you use a labyrinth-style entrance, this sense of privacy goes away. Without a proper place to draw where they won’t be spotted in the act, vandals won’t want to attempt to make graffiti or damage the bathrooms.
Labyrinth entrances also allow you to hear if someone is vandalizing the bathroom. A turning hallway blocks sounds of someone damaging the bathroom; meanwhile, a labyrinth entrance allows sounds to freely flow out of the restroom to alert you of any potential damage.
Toilet and Urinal Vandalism
While most of the damage that you incur will likely be graffiti and other minor crimes, there is a chance that a vandal will do major damage to your toilets and urinals. They may clog the toilets and urinals or attempt to outright destroy the appliances in your school bathrooms. There are a few steps you can take to minimize this type of damage.
First, if you are commonly seeing cracks or other forms of damage on your ceramic bathroom toilets, you may want to invest in stainless steel toilets instead. Ceramic is prone to damage and can easily be broken by a dedicated vandal. Stainless steel is much harder to break and will last longer.
Second, while manual flushers on your urinals and toilets may seem convenient, they can easily be misused. It’s better to have proximity or motion-controlled sensors in place instead to avoid the system being abused.
Finally, ensure that your school janitors check to see if the toilets and urinals are clogged regularly. As stated above, you’ll want to make sure that your bathrooms are running as smoothly as possible to avoid additional vandalism.
Toilet Paper and Other Paper Products
Some students may tamper with toilet paper and paper towels in your restrooms. Whether they decide to use it as a form of “decoration” or attempt to clog your toilets and urinals with it. You may find yourself wasting money on additional toilet paper.
Using single-ply toilet paper can decrease your chances of severe clogs in your toilets and urinals. Even a particularly dedicated vandal would have to waste a lot of time to get enough paper to damage a toilet.
You should also ensure that the toilet rolls and paper towels are kept in a locked dispenser. This will prevent students from taking entire rolls at a time to cause damage with. You should also keep any spare rolls in a safe place that only a janitor can access.
Discourage Students from Vandalizing the Bathrooms
While vandalism is not 100% preventable, there are ways you can discourage vandals in your school. A big reason why people vandalize restrooms is so that they can express themselves. Offering alternative forms of self-expression can help decrease the likelihood that troubled students will vandalize your restrooms.
Offer students the ability to draw, dance, write and talk so that they can express themselves in healthy ways. If you notice any students that are struggling, encourage them to speak with a counselor or a trusted adult. This will give them healthy coping mechanisms and keep them from causing needless damage.
Get Rid Of Vandalism in Your School Bathrooms
You don’t have to struggle with vandalism in your school bathrooms. Use these techniques to keep your school’s restrooms clean and damage-free!
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