September 26, 2022


Creating Possibilities

New Ashland elementary faculty strategies include things like solitary-occupant bogs

Hanover County is in the procedure of replacing John M. Gandy Elementary Faculty in Ashland. Programs for the new setting up, reviewed at a college board assembly previous week, consist of nongendered, one-occupant bogs. 

Person toilets will be driving floor-to-ceiling partitions, even though the sink spot will be open up to the hallway.

“These bathroom rooms are open to the corridor. Each personal stall, the doorways go from the ground up to the ceiling, and there is no gap,” claimed Josh Bower, an architect on the undertaking, all through the board meeting. “Every solitary stall has comprehensive privateness.”

A Hanover County formal also instructed VPM Information in an electronic mail that in addition to improving privateness, the school’s bathroom layout will support shield students.

“The principal intention of this design and style is to increase student protection, which is of paramount value to us, and reduce likely problems to restrooms. For instance, we foresee this layout will enable decrease instances of bullying, fighting, and vandalism that happen in these places,” wrote Hanover County Public University spokesperson Chris Whitley.

Wes Perkins, a professor at Hobart and William Smith Schools in New York condition, explained that demonstrates the conventional perception that most bullying happens in locations with very low supervision, like bogs. But a 2014 research in center faculties done by Perkins and his colleagues found that wasn’t the scenario. 

“The significant photograph was that a lot more bullying was remaining expert in the hallways, school rooms and in the lunchroom,” he explained. “In a person feeling, it really should not be surprising mainly because of the sum of time that is used [in those areas].”

Perkins explained the unique stalls will not conclude bullying, but they could help prevent it in loos, wherever investigate exhibits transgender students often come to feel unsafe. 

“If [students] can have these individualized rooms where by they are not there with anyone else, they may feel definitely far more privateness, rather a lot more safety,” he said. “Bullying charges in those form of environments … may well take place considerably fewer than it is now.”

Whitley reported HCPS designs to use the solitary-occupant toilet layout for all the elementary colleges it’s scheduling to build all through the following 5 yrs. At present, Battlefield Park and Washington-Henry elementary educational institutions in Mechanicsville are slated for alternative, in addition to Gandy.

The bathroom layout is not envisioned to impact the value to construct the new colleges, according to Whitley.

Individual toilets at a prepared faculty in Ashland will be behind floor-to-ceiling partitions, though the sink region will be open up to the hallway. (Photo: Courtesy Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates)

Avoiding faculty bullying

Perkins mentioned Hanover County should nevertheless vigilantly pursue anti-bullying actions, specifically individuals that concentrate on harassment that occurs through class. His 2014 research also discovered that pupils bullied in the classroom skilled far more concern than all those bullied in other areas. 

A person method Perkins recommended to fight bullying: openly speaking to kids about how frequent it is. About 25-30% of learners engage in bullying, but learners perceive it to be much more widespread than that.

“If they assume that most other folks are doing it, then basically extra pupils engage in the bullying than would in any other case,” he mentioned.

In a 2011 review, Perkins and his coauthors discovered that by displaying posters in a university that described precise, local data about how unheard of bullying was, the actions was lowered. 

“Results confirmed considerable reductions in problematic misperceptions of the prevalence of bullying and of peer help for bullying and simultaneous reductions in personal bullying behaviors and experiences of victimization,” the research claimed. “Students have been also extra supportive of reporting bullying to university authorities and mother and father and they came to feel that friends a lot more generally supported this conduct than was formerly considered to be the situation.”

Perkins warned that moms and dads, lecturers and administrators should really be active in preventing bullying — no make any difference the faculty and its layout.

“We analyzed this information and broke it down by sorts of faculties — huge faculties, little colleges, middle-sized educational institutions — and that didn’t make any difference,” he mentioned. “We can’t say that this is a thing where by people could assume, ‘Well, not at our faculty, it has a various social and demographic attribute.”