(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Bathrooms have taken the spotlight at McDowell Intermediate High School. An online petition is making the rounds after the school administrators have closed some bathrooms in the building.

The school says it’s a response to increased and ongoing behavior issues in the bathrooms — specifically, students vaping. To combat that, the school has taken a multi-step approach. First, the school held assemblies with each student group by grade level so the school could share its concerns with the students. The school then sent home “communication” to parents about plans for “adjustments.”

Millcreek Township Schools Superintendent Ian Roberts said that the problem behavior has increased so the school has implemented staff monitoring of the bathrooms.

“The students are no longer using the bathrooms in large numbers, but the students are still using the restrooms,” Roberts said.

There is conflicting information about the situation:

According to the petition, the school is only letting two students into the bathrooms at one time. The superintendent’s office said they believed students are being let in based on how many stalls are available.

The petition says only two bathrooms are open — one upstairs and one downstairs. The superintendent’s office said five bathrooms are currently open and four are closed. That’s due to staffing issues. It takes staff to monitor the bathrooms, and not enough staff means fewer bathrooms available.

The petition notes wait times — some rumors in social media groups say as long as 20 minutes. The superintendent’s office said students are using sign-in sheets to help with accountability, and the longest wait time they’ve recorded is 5 minutes.

About 1,100 students attend McDowell Intermediate High School for grades nine and 10. And while the bathrooms are monitored, Roberts was insistent that students’ privacy, safety and wellbeing were at the forefront of their decisions.

“As a practice, we know that we’re certainly compliant with Supreme Court precedent that says when students enter the building, they don’t leave their constitutional rights at the doors,” Roberts said. “The safety and the wellbeing of 100% of our students is important, and we’ve been keeping our finger on the pulse of that.”

The increased bathroom monitoring is temporary, the superintendent’s office said. In the meantime, the school continues to meet with each class to discuss appropriate student bathroom behavior. But even today, the superintendent said, students still have bathroom access.

“No one is going to miss out on bathroom time. We’re never going to deprive students of having those breaks as needed,” Roberts said.

As of about 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, a petition on www.Change.org titled “Bring back all bathroom privileges” had more than 800 signatures.