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Toilet paper controversy unrolling at Mahanoy Area High School

A policy requiring students at Mahanoy Area High School to sign out toilet paper is being widely debated; school leaders say the policy was developed after $2,000 worth of vandalism happened in a boy's bathroom.
Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County- A policy on signing out toilet paper at Mahanoy Area High School has generated a significant stink.

Created in the wake of repeated vandalism in a boy's bathroom, the high school principal told Eyewitness News drastic measures were necessary after it cost $2,000 to mitigate damage from a toilet paper incident. Toilets and sinks were clogged, and paper was strewn all over the bathroom floor, according to Tom Smith, principal at Mahanoy Area. Smith said police were called to investigate.

Students wishing to use one of six bathrooms in the school are required to sign for their toilet paper at the main office.

Smith, who spoke at length with the I-Team on Monday by phone, was unavailable for an on-camera interview.

Smith added he was surprised at how the story was "getting blown up," adding students not comfortable with signing out toilet paper were welcome to use another bathroom.

But Karen Yedsena strongly disagrees with the district's policy. Yedsena questioned the board of education about the toilet paper policy at a recent board meeting.

"That's embarrassing for our kids," said Yedsena. "It's embarrassing. We have how many kids down at that school who are so shy. You know, it doesn't make sense to me. Prisoners are treated better, and that's sad."

But students who spoke with Eyewitness News on Monday made little of the attention the policy has netted.

"It's toilet paper, if you have to use it, go get it," said William Fazio.

Fazio is the son of Mahanoy Area School Board member.

"It's only one bathroom, it's not both bathrooms. It's only one closest to the office, so if people are embarrassed to go up there and ask, they're just scared," he said.

Mahanoy Area High School was closed Monday because of inclement weather.
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