School bathrooms can often be a gross and dreary place (at least the ones in my very old school building were), but a recent trend has them being used for more than just their intended purpose. I mean, of course we need school bathrooms to be functional and allow students to get in and out and back to class quickly, but what if they could also be…inspiring? What if students could be encouraged while doing their business, and walk back to class with a spring in their step?
I like it!
The trend to paint school bathrooms with positive messages
A quick Pinterest search for “paint school bathrooms” or “school bathroom decoration ideas” will bring forth a ton of images and ideas, showing that this trend isn’t an isolated one-off. From elementary to high school, parents and faculty are getting involved in making school bathrooms a place of positivity. One elementary school, Mary Moore Elementary in Arlington, Texas, has seen the power of a positively-painted bathroom first hand. Last President’s Day weekend, school parents came together to give the school’s bathrooms a facelift to go along with the principal’s school year theme of finding joy.
Principal Tyson Jones told the TODAY Show that his aim for his students was ” slow down and find joy in the school day.” After eight parents worked over 36 hours that weekend to transform the school bathrooms, the school posted them on Facebook, where they quickly went viral. The parents painted the bathroom doors black and covered them with colorful inspirational sayings like “Choose joy,” “She believed she could so she did,” and “Bloom where you are planted.”
Positive messages in school bathrooms make a difference
Principal Jones says he’s proud of how the kids have taken ownership of their newly-refurbished school bathrooms, and rebuffs critics who worry that the kids will undo the hard work with vandalism.
“These kids have taken ownership of these bathrooms; they know they are special,” he told TODAY. “And even if by chance one kid down the line decides to mark it up with a Sharpie, does that mean we shouldn’t make the effort for the other 130 fifth-graders?”