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Rancho Bernardo High graduate spearheads project providing lockdown lavatories

Posted at 3:46 AM, Jun 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-17 08:22:34-04

RANCHO BERNARDO, Calif. (KGTV) - More schools are equipping themselves with "lock-down lavatories" amid a rise in school threats posted on social media.

At Rancho Bernardo High School, graduate Dallin Dunn felt the pain and embarrassment of using a make-shift bathroom during a lock-down in May of 2017. Two posts on Snapchat put the school on lock-down for hours, forcing his group in the library to take desperate measures.

"With the stress of testing and the lock-down it was just so much that people had to use the restroom and those trash cans had to be used," Dunn said.

"Twenty years ago you'd never think you would need some way to create an immediate restroom for students to be able to use," Principal David LaMaster said.

Dunn was inspired to create a solution, and changed his Eagle Scout Project last minute focused on his peers.

"We had actually looked at products to purchase but realizing there's a cost to that, we didn't know how exactly we were going to cover that," LaMaster said.

Dunn said he had huge support from the start from the community and school, saying the PTSA footed the bill, "I actually got a grant for $1,000 and we used about $800 of that."

Dunn coordinated an effort, assembly-line style, creating 102 lock-down lavatories so each room was stocked.

He pulled out a foam ring, made of pipe insulation and covered with plastic. The ring cut lengthwise to easily attach to the rim of the bucket, providing a seat. "So you just wrap it around the rim and it's able to collapse into the bucket," he said.

It also includes, "gloves for you know obviously cleaning up, some extra sleeves so you can reuse this, throw that away and reuse it again, some instructions and some extra bags," toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

The solution becoming more common, in 2015 San Diego Unified School District added 6,000 lock-down lavatories to their campuses.

"I do know that other school districts are having outside vendors donate or they're buying resources and things like that so I feel like we're well ahead of the curve," LaMaster said.

The lavatories were places throughout campus midway through the 2018-2019 school year, ready for students in the future, while all hope the need never arises.

LaMaster said in his seven years as a principal he's only experience one lock-down scenario.