Students missing in Loudoun County High School due to classroom splits


Berny Waydling works hard on his math project in his brand new classroom. Waydling feels safe in his new classrooms and enjoys the new confinement of his work space. Picture by Tac Ollerazzip.

WATCH OUT! Screams fill the school halls as construction workers move in and out of classrooms at Loudoun County High School leaving a haze of sawdust, and the stench of white plaster and paint behind. An uproar occurs when students reenter their classrooms to see they are a little more diminutive than they previously were. 

Classrooms at Loudoun County have been split into halves, quarters and soon even eighths. Due to the masses of students that Loudoun County has and new class selections, the school has made the decision to make more classrooms by dividing the original rooms at the school. 

Senior Patricia Long was announced missing on February 18, 2022 and was found later in a science classroom recently split into eight rooms. “I was stuck in the school for the entire weekend because all the new classrooms make it difficult to find an exit,” said Long. 

According to contractor Joe Smith, the room splits were modeled after hamster hideaways. “Hamsters enjoy the confined and small tunnels and chambers. It makes them feel safe,” Smith said. 

Many students are reporting feeling disoriented while trying to find their way in the many classrooms at the school. Petitions have even begun to add directional signs and maps in order to eliminate any more missing persons. 

Students and staff have also complained about how this has affected the AC system at the school. Gerald Balding, Advanced Math & Statistics teacher, reported icicles beginning to form on the window as the heat system doesn’t reach his classroom. One of the students in his class also reported losing three fingers due to frostbite on a snowy day at the end of January. 

The cold isn’t the only occurrence of AC issues due to the classroom splits. Harold Smith, junior, brings a tank top and shorts to wear in his computer math class because of the heating issue in the classroom. “I’ve started losing weight, I’ve been sweating so much! Some kids even started bringing fans and bathing suits,” Smith said. 

Michella Butrel, Principal at LCHS, understands the issues of the classroom splits and is working overtime to rectify the situation. “We are trying our best to solve the issues while continuing to divide the classrooms as planned,” Butrel said. 

Butrel believes that it provides a sense of safety to students in our school. “If it works for hamsters, it will work for us too,” said Butrel.  

“Although after working in a confined space for so many hours of my day, I’ve started experiencing a fear of open spaces,” said Balding. “My five-by-ten foot bathroom at home has become a terror to me and all I can think about is how I can return to the safety of my classroom on Monday.”