MAHANOY CITY — Boys needing toilet paper for one of the bathrooms in the Mahanoy Area High School must sign it out in the main office. The issue was recently brought up at a school board meeting by a parent and now the TP problem is unrolling in the national spotlight.
“Our school right now, you know, having this publicly, it`s humiliating,” said Mahanoy Area School District Superintendent Dr. Joie Green.
The Mahanoy Area High School is absorbed in a touchy issue centered around toilet paper. Administrators have taken the rolls of tissue out of this boy’s bathroom for now.
“I don`t really want to take the toilet paper out of the bathroom, it`s just kind of a consequence based on the vandalism that was occurring,” said Mahanoy Area High School Principal Tom Smith.
Smith says students are behind more than $2,000 worth of damage to the bathroom.
Smith showed us these photos taken during the last school year. They show doors ripped off bathroom stalls and toilet paper had been routinely stuffed in commodes and sinks, causing quite a mess.
Superintendent Dr. Joie Green says she supports the bathroom tissue policy 100 percent.
“I just think that the students need to be held accountable for the damage that`s done,” said Dr. Green.
The toilet paper policy has been in effect off and on for about a year. Boys at Mahanoy Area High School say they’ve been warned every step of the way.
“Mr. Smith talked to the whole class, the whole student body, about the situation,” said Senior Class President Bobby Vanhorn. Vanhorn says no one will come forward.
Any boys who don`t want to sign for toilet paper to use the bathroom can easily just walk down the hall. There are two other bathrooms that they can use where they don`t have to sign it out.
“It`s just one bathroom. We have six bathrooms, three male bathrooms, three female bathrooms in our small school. It was just the vandalism of one bathroom,” said Smith.
Karen Yedsena told Newswatch 16 she brought the issue to the attention of the board this month, telling them her son was embarrassed to sign out the toilet paper.
Now she says this TP problem is blown out of proportion.
“I just went to a meeting and asked a question and now it`s, suddenly, I look like a bad guy attacking our school and I, I love that school, I do a lot for the school,” said Yedsena.
Administrators say this policy will remain in effect for now as they continue to search for who is responsible for the vandalism. But this story has gained national attention as it continues to unravel.