Tag Archives: girls bathroom

Bomb Threats Written on School Bathroom Walls

Informant Context: The informant is a nineteen-year-old female undergraduate student at the University of Southern California (USC). She attended a public high school in Chicago, Illinois.

Conversation Transcript: 

Collector: “What is something traditional you’ve seen written or drawn on high school bathroom walls?”

Informant: “Initials are pretty common. I’ve seen couples’ initials with a heart drawn around them. Penises are drawn a lot too.”

Collector: “You see them drawn in the girls’ bathrooms?”

Informant: “Not often. I have seen girls write polls on stall doors. This or that questions about general topics. Like coffee or tea. Mascara or blush, for example. Then girls would put tallies under each option to place their vote. Oh! At my high school, people would also leave bomb threats in the bathrooms.”

Collector: “Bomb threats?”

Informant: “Yeah. Kids would write threats on the walls like ‘I’m going to shoot up the school’ or ‘there will be a bomb explosion tomorrow’. Crazy stuff.”

Analysis: It was surprising to hear the informant’s examples escalate during our discussion. I was familiar with her first examples because I had seen similar drawings in bathrooms at my public high school. What shocked me was the informant’s experience seeing terrorist threats written on walls. While I never saw any at my high school, I could imagine this being a popular practice across the United States, as school terrorism has become an epidemic in the country’s recent decades.