At 2:00 on Wednesday, our principal got on the PA and announced that all water access was strictly cut off. No bathrooms, no sinks, no drinking fountains. "Fortunately, there's only 30 minutes of school left," he said. "Oh, and all activities and athletics after school are cancelled as well."
There is nothing quite like being told you have no access to a bathroom to make you very aware of your bladder.
I asked the next custodian I saw what was going on. It seems a giant clog has blocked up the building's pipes to the west of the middle school. It backed up into their bathrooms, then backed up into ours before spilling out into the parking lot on the west side.
This made a lovely exit sight for the National Honor Society honorees and their parents as they left the building later that night.
At 9:30 PM that night, I received an automated call from the district office. "Due to a water treatment issue, the middle school and the high school will be closed tomorrow," they said. "All staff are expected to report."
A flurry of texting between me and other teachers occurred, all variations of "?!?". Report when? For what? Will we have bathrooms? Nobody knew, or at least those who knew weren't talking.
My carpool buddy and I decided to go on a work day schedule and left at 7:30, right when the first explanation from our administration appeared in my email. We were expected to be there for a full day, to work on pacing guides and grading and department/faculty meetings, and "if needed" we could use the restrooms at the district office.
"This is a decision made by a man," was my very first thought upon hearing this.
My principal confirmed it at a faculty meeting later that day. He admitted to pressing the issue a little bit in a passive way (his words), but didn't really argue the point.
I packed three water bottles from home; made the 10 minute walk (each way) to the district office twice; and told my principal that he should point out to our superintendent that if he had ever experienced menstruation or pregnancy he would not think that a "little walk" is an acceptable solution.
They brought in an industrial machine to blast the clog out of the way in time for us to hold school on Friday. Last I heard, the superintendent was blaming the clog on Tampons.