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San Diego High School students eyed in City bathroom vandalism

Mark Rivera and Mark Rivera

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With San Diego High School in such close proximity to City College, it’s not uncommon to find high school students wandering the halls, loitering the quads or even using campus restrooms; it’s in the student’s use of the restrooms, however, that is causing concern. So much concern, in fact, that campus police have resorted to locking up the restrooms in both the B and M buildings.

“The reason why the bathrooms are locked up is because we were having a huge spike in vandalism on both bathroom buildings,” college police Sgt. Jordan Mirakian said.

Campus police cannot prove that San Diego High students are to blame for the vandalism, but they base their beliefs on previous student arrests and monikers found in the bathrooms that correlate to tagging crews found at San Diego High.

Some high school students are actually allowed to be on campus because of the Early Middle College program offered at City College.

Mirakian added that campus police have found much of the illegal activity to occur when San Diego High students are either passing through campus for a class, before their school begins or after it gets out.

“The peak times that these students are here is when (the B and M building) bathrooms are being vandalized,” Mirakian said. “They come into our cafeteria – buy food, hang out in our quad and occasionally we’d find them in the bathrooms smoking marijuana or committing vandalism.”

Some City College students have also found that drug-related activity occurs at the same time that San Diego High students are coming out of school.

“I’ve definitely smelled people smoking weed, in the girls’ bathroom, both upstairs and downstairs, in the B
building,” student Lorraine Fenech said. “I have class from 2:20 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. So this is usually happening before 2:20 p.m.”

During routine checks, City College janitors have even found juveniles of both sexes in the same women’s bathroom stall of the B building, according to Darrell Chandler, plan operations manager.

Campus police did confirm similar reports of juveniles possibly participating in lewd activities in the same B building bathrooms.

Such incidents, on top of the relentless vandalism, lead to the decision by campus police and the Plan Operations Department to lock the B and M building bathrooms at 2 p.m. everyday until 9 a.m. the next day.

“Every night, instead of cleaning the restrooms, (custodians) are there cleaning up graffiti off the walls . and it’s costing us a lot of money,” Chandler said. “If we don’t close (the bathrooms), then we get the instructors and students complaining about the graffiti and we don’t have enough people to keep up with it.”

According to Mirakian, before the bathrooms were being locked, campus police too, had exhausted their resources, finding that increased foot patrols and plain-clothed officer patrols were ineffective.

Since the lock-up of the B and M building bathrooms began a few months ago, campus police has seen a drop in the vandalism being done to the campus restrooms.

“Will (San Diego High students) move onto other bathrooms? Maybe,” Mirakian said. “But the other bathrooms are so heavily populated with foot traffic, and there are so many people around those areas, that the likelihood is much less.”

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San Diego High School students eyed in City bathroom vandalism