New Milford is cracking down on students vaping in the high school. But the updated bathroom rules are prompting backlash among some students and hundreds have signed a petition calling the changes unfair.
“Kids are vaping a lot and it’s not good for anyone,” said senior Alexis Szollosy-Hallock.
At New Milford High School the start of a new school year came with some major changes about which bathrooms students can use.
“There’s always a line. It’s like a 20 minute wait to go into the bathroom,” said senior Madisyn Martinelli.
That’s because the bathrooms on the second and third floors are now closed during lunches and between classes.
“That means I got to walk all the way down to my first floor class and waste time I could be learning,” said senior Conor Whelan.
Bathrooms are open on the first floor all day.
In a letter to parents explaining the new policy, the school principal also described their effort to teach students about the danger of vaping.
He wrote in part: “We have seen a dramatic increase in this behavior over the last few years."
“Many kids don’t agree with the rules and I just want to one of those who stand up for all the other kids who have something to say about it,” said Szollosy-Hallock.
Szollosy-Hallock is supporting an online petition that already has more than 250 signatures.
They hope to send a message to administrators about a policy which they call unfair and disruptive to learning.
“If the school was to change some rules around it would definitely make students feel more comfortable about coming to school and wanting to learn,” said Szollosy-Hallock.
The New Milford superintendent says she just became aware of the petition on Wednesday and no students had spoken with her or the principal about their concerns with the policy.
But she says the principal is happy to speak with students and work on a compromise.