PHS Reacts to Threats With “Potty Patrol”


Rebecca Simpkins

Various teachers made sashes for the teachers that were patrolling the bathrooms.

Rebecca Simpkins, Sports Editor

On March 6, 2023 school officials were alerted to a threatening graffiti message found in one of the boy’s bathrooms. Due to the message, students were put on a level one lockdown. Students were then sent home at 10:30 a.m.

The following days after the threat, the administration made the executive decision to put new safety measures into place.

Teachers would sit outside bathrooms during class and passing periods to limit the number of students in the bathrooms. The teachers also periodically had to check the inside of the bathrooms for threats or anything else in that manner.

Social Studies teacher Katherine Korte understood that while this may be an inconvenience, it was needed to ensure safety.

“I think it is unfortunate that it came to monitoring the bathrooms,” Korte said.

The school has a responsibility to provide a safe learning environment and if bathrooms were the location of multiple threats, then there needs to be a response.

— Katherine Korte

Social Studies teacher Ryan Brueckmann agreed with Korte.

“Sitting outside a bathroom wasn’t my favorite part of my job, but sometimes teachers are asked to step up to help keep the school safe,” Brueckmann said. “We all understand that and are willing to help out.”

The student body had a mixed response to the new patrolling. Some students were happy to be able to feel more comfortable in the bathrooms, however, others found the new patrolling to be uncomfortable.

Junior Natalee Hunter found the patrolling to be inconvenient.

“It won’t prevent a school shooting,” Hunter said.

This new safety measure quickly gained the nickname “Potty Patrol.”

Brueckmann said the monitors helped decrease tension.

“I am okay with a little bit of humor and levity to break the tension and anxiety many were feeling over the threats made to the school,” Brueckmann said.

The solution was temporary and ended on April 10. Administration made the decision to reduce the patrolling to just periodically checking the bathrooms moving forward.

Korte said it was as “effective as it could be.”

“I think it sent a message to students and families that the school was taking threats seriously and responding with policies the administration thought necessary to provide a safe learning environment,” Korte said.