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Vandal Strikes in Boys’ Bathrooms

By Samantha Ebner, Avigail Kahn, and Yael Bister (11th Grade)

This week, a vandal defaced the boys bathrooms on the 3rd and 4th floors by breaking pipes and urinating on the floor.

“This is not something that we take lightly,” said Assistant Principal Rabbi Assaraf. “Vandalism and this specific behavior, I don’t even know what to label it as, what category, I guess animalistic behavior. I guess dogs urinate wherever they want. I wouldn’t say that it’s far stretched to say that someone who would be caught doing such a thing would be up for an expulsion. That’s not out of the equation.”

The vandalism was first discovered last week by the maintenance staff. Someone had urinated on the floor, unraveled rolls of toilet paper across the facilities, and kicked in a pipe causing water to leak. Similar damage occurred again this past Monday. Rabbi Assaraf called an emergency meeting with all the boys in which he and the maintenance staff spoke about the problem.

“Everyone’s face yesterday in the meeting showed ‘oh my god I would never even imagine doing such a thing,’ so then again I’m kind of wondering if everyone’s playing innocent, everyone’s claiming this would be the most repulsive thing they would ever imagine, but yet it’s happening, and it’s actually happened a few times,” Rabbi Assaraf said.

According to Rabbi Assaraf, similar bathroom vandalism occurred in the school two years ago. The administration is working to find the culprit, but has no leads so far. If they are unable to catch the guilty party, they are considering shutting down two out of the three boys bathrooms, and even taking urine samples from each of the boys in the school to compare to the vandal’s urine from the floor which was collected and preserved for this potential purpose.

The maintenance staff, which is responsible for the repair and clean-up of the wreckage, said that they are surprised and disgusted by this behavior.

“What is happening is that the students are trashing the bathrooms. They roll paper and do disgusting things inside of the bathroom, and this isn’t good for us because we work hard every single day and try to maintain the whole school,” said Supervisor of Maintenance Paula Rodriguez. “It’s abuse to us when they do things like this because if they don’t do it at home, then they shouldn’t do it here.”

Students and parents received an email pleading for the parents to talk to their kids to end this behavior. Students at the school said they are appalled.

“It’s pretty disgusting,” said Shuee Shaulson (12th Grade). “It literally looks like a third grade bathroom. There’s toilets not flushed, there’s water everywhere. It’s actually nasty. It  makes no sense.”

It is not clear whether the vandal is one person or several, but an anonymous source said that they have witnessed numerous students urinating on the floor and laughing about it, pointing to the idea that there is more than one  perpetrator.

Rabbi Assaraf has repeatedly stated that the vandal or vandals must come forward or else there will be repercussions that would penalize all of the boys in the school. He said that sending the boys to clean the whole school is a possibility at this point.  

“It’s just something that I think goes against everything that I believe in, and I think my email kind of stated it. I’d be very happy canceling every single class for a couple of days and having the boys completely clean the bathrooms, the building. I mean you’re talking about the lowest level, to harm the maintenance staff in this way, to really make them do the most undignified, to get on their knees and clean up your urine,” said Rabbi Assaraf. “I can’t think of anything more insulting, and I really believe it is the ultimate level of Chilul Hashem. I think I have a really hard time with that being that we are a Jewish school. We spend so much time teaching people values and Torah and on and on and on. To see that it doesn’t translate to the best results, puts a big question in everything.”

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