Breathitt County High School locking student restrooms during classes

JACKSON Ky. (WKYT) - Some Breathitt County parents are upset about restrooms at the high school being locked during classes but the principal said it's a necessary move because of what some students are doing in those restrooms.

It's not just visitors to Breathitt County High School who are having to sign in at the front office these days. Students who need to use the restroom during classes are as well. The principal says it's because of how some students are using them.

"Kids chewing tobacco and using our bathrooms sort of in a negative way, both with smoking and chewing tobacco," said Principal Derek McKnight.

The policy started Tuesday. Custodians lock the gates once the bell rings for classes.

"We want our bathrooms open between classes, before school, during lunch, and after school," McKnight said.

During classes students are able to go to the front office to use the restroom. McKnight said the move allows the school to control student traffic during classes and prevents students from missing instructional time.

WKYT was made aware of the policy by a parent who is upset at the change.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said they were aware of the move and knew of several other schools that had similar policies.

McKnight says he hasn't spoken to any parents himself but he knows there are some who are unhappy about the policy.

"I understand there's been some phone calls to the central office."

He says the move also eliminates one issue the school had during a recent safe schools audit.

"One of the points on there was the tobacco use in the restrooms so we're trying to deal with it."

A principal's meeting is planned for Thursday to discuss this policy.

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