WJ bathrooms fail health inspection, school temporarily closed for emergency repairs

Seyun Park

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Photo by Seyun Park

The WJ building has been temporarily closed for emergency bathroom repairs. Staff and admin who were still in the building when the announcement came were promptly evacuated.

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Thursday its move to temporarily close WJ to staff and students following a stunning revelation that WJ bathrooms failed health code inspections in every measured category. The closure is expected to last at least two weeks. MCPS has hired an independent, nationwide consulting firm to assist, and has allocated 500,000 dollars for emergency bathroom repairs.

Health inspectors arrived at WJ on Wednesday for a routine inspection but were stunned when they saw the state of WJ bathrooms.

“We’ve been to a lot of high schools, and we’ve seen a lot of high school bathrooms, but this was on a level that we had just never seen before,” senior health inspector Sarah Reese said.

Bathrooms are normally rated using a scale of “in compliance,” “out of compliance,” or “critical violation,” however, after seeing WJ bathrooms, inspectors created a new score on their scale called “serious health risk posed.” WJ bathrooms earned a “serious health risk posed” in every single category that the county measured, including toilet paper quality, water pressure in sinks, and mirror cleanliness.

A quick swab of one toilet seat in the male’s locker room bathroom resulted in active presences of coronavirus, ebola, ecoli, polio, ligma, swine flu, spanish flu and bubonic plague, among other viruses and bacteria.

Principal Baker had in the past tried calling in multiple plumbers to help with the issue of clogged and broken toilets, which the school also earned a “serious health risk posed” on, but plumbers who showed up declined to take the job citing serious workplace hazards.

The DHHS is doing everything they can to help WJ, but it is now requesting help from upper levels of government.

“Normally we would handle situations like this with our own teams of health experts, but given the serious danger of WJ bathrooms and the hazardous materials they contain, we have alerted the EPA, the CDC, the FDA, the NIH, the NSA, the CIA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commision, the US Army, NASA and honestly every other government agency we can to try to help us get this under control,” said acting county health officer James Bridgers.

The federal government has indicated that it will support WJ in its bathroom repairs.

“We are currently coordinating between multiple agencies and are monitoring and assessing the WJ bathroom situation closely and will provide updates as they become available,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

The CDC is leading the charge in stabilizing and sanitizing the WJ bathrooms before independent contractors come in to repair the bathrooms.

“With the amount of viruses and bacteria detected in those bathrooms, I’m surprised the whole state of Maryland hasn’t experienced a black death,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said.

The MCPS Board of Education in an emergency meeting late Thursday night allocated 500,000 dollars for repairs as 16 different contractors were hired. Each contractor will only be allowed in the bathroom for 30 minutes every 24 hours in order to minimize exposure time to the bathrooms and all contractors who work in WJ will be required to don full hazmat suits.

Luckily, no students so far have been harmed from the dangers of WJ bathrooms, however, most were shocked to know the real health risk of our bathrooms.

“I mean I’ve always known our school bathrooms aren’t the best, but to know that we failed a health inspection? Our bathrooms are serious health risks? Really, I never could’ve seen this coming,” freshman Henry Healey said.

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