Opinion: Bathroom Vandalism at Northport is the Result of Inherent Privelege



Recently, there have been reports of “vandalism of school property, specifically, several bathrooms within the building”, according to an email sent on March 17.

Sabrina Kwarta, Freelancer

Poor behavior is present in every school setting. There are always a few “bad seeds” and those who follow the crowd, while others are simply lost causes.

However, increasingly ridiculous acts seem to have become only more prominent at Northport High School. Recently, there have been reports of “vandalism of school property, specifically, several bathrooms within the building”, according to an email sent on March 17.

Specific instances include ripping bathroom stall doors off the hinges, flushing jello cups down the toilet, and even going so far as urinating on the bathroom floors and sinks. I’d go on, but I think you get the idea.

Incidents like this should surprise me, and yet, they don’t. In fact, I laugh thinking about a 14 to 18 year-old taking a leak on the bathroom floor. I get that your frontal lobe isn’t fully developed yet, but I’d like to think you have just enough brain cells to at least make it INTO the toilet.

Jokes aside, this isn’t the first time things like this have occurred. As for previous bathroom happenings, in 2021, there was a series of racist and anti-semetic slurs and drawings found in one of the men’s bathrooms. This event was immediately followed by an assembly of students and staff and ultimately resulted in the “scanning into the bathroom” ordeal, much to the dismay of all students.

This pattern left me wondering if there was a specific correlation between students and their actions. Are certain people or groups more likely to break the rules than others? Does it depend on where they live? Their financial situation?

In a Google Form created by me, 40% of individuals said that they noticed a difference in behavior in individuals from Northport versus those from East Northport, 60% believe certain cliques are more likely to engage in concerning behaviors, and 100% responded with the belief that privilege exists at Northport High School.

According to point2homes, in Northport, the median household income is $122,250 per year, and is $136,818 per year in East Northport. Granted, these numbers don’t apply to everyone.

But being from East Northport, I’ve noticed economic differences between the two from a very young age. Northport is closer to the beach – not necessarily a nice one – and its custom-built, three-story houses are home to pretentious real estate agents and their lacrosse-playing children.

East Northport, on the other hand, is “the bad side of town” compared to this. Its residents are mostly working class who don’t probably don’t own deck boats and probably aren’t spending their summers at the Yacht Club either.

Not only could I distinguish them financially, but through specific individuals in the communities as well.
“Well-off” people all seemed the same to me – all-star athletes with freshly manicured nails, the latest iPhone (none of them would be caught dead with an Android), and regular haulers of clothes that would be out of style in 6 months.

Along with this, every one of these people I’ve encountered have acted in a similar fashion – loud, extroverted, and highly social.

This has been the norm for as long as I can remember, beginning about as young as kindergarten. I continued to observe in silence as I got older. It became more noticeable as years passed, and perhaps the most prevalent in high school. The cause is unknown, but family behavior, finances, and environment are potentially viable factors.

Now, this isn’t to say that one place is superior to the other, or that certain people are “bad”- that isn’t true. I’ve met those from both Northport and East Northport who I’ve become friendly with and aren’t terrible human beings.

But because this distinct pattern of preference has been consistent for almost the entirety of my educational career, it leads me to believe that this “clique” – or whatever you want to call it – is the dominant species out of the many phenomena present in the jungle of Northport High School. Privilege rules, and will continue to do so as long as the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.