The Student News Site of Loudoun Valley High School

The Viking

The Student News Site of Loudoun Valley High School

The Viking

The Student News Site of Loudoun Valley High School

The Viking


Which AP class is the most difficult?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.


As GenAI (or generative artificial intelligence) is continuing to expand to encompass all creative and factual horizons, students today have the world’s knowledge at their fingertips — and then some. We were the guinea pigs for the iPhone, and now our generation are the experimental subjects for artificial intelligence.

Read this debate between Avery Ramsey and Claire O`Connor at the link in our bio!

By Avery Ramsey and Claire O`Connor | Staff Reporters
Photo by Claire O`Connor

Which do you prefer?

To watch the full video, click the link in our bio!

By Kenzie Farrey, Kate Miller, and Megan Fennelly

New Single-Occupancy Restrooms

Inside the new single-occupancy restrooms. Sam Bielawa

Construction has been underway for months in the main hall by the science wing. The renovated “privacy” restrooms, part of a new Restroom Privacy and Safety Pilot Program, are set to open March 18. 

Once these restrooms are up and running, the single-occupancy restrooms by the clinic will revert back to staff-only restrooms. In the coming years, the school plans to modernize more of its student restrooms, taking inspiration from designs at Saint Paul Public Schools

Though various levels of the pilot program have been implemented across the county, Valley was chosen to receive renovated privacy restrooms as well as sensor technology.

The new sensor technology was implemented in every student — not staff — restroom as of approximately 90 days ago. These sensors are set to activate once the new privacy restrooms open.

What are the sensors? 

The sensors are able to detect various levels of activity, though no sensors are intended to intrude upon student privacy. The sensors are capable of detecting abnormal noise levels, such as shouting or gunshots. They are also designed to detect all types of smoke and will send an alert if the sensor is touched. 

In single-occupancy restrooms, these sensors will be set to detect how many people are occupying the bathroom and whether the occupant has exceeded the current time limit of 5 minutes. 

The sensors in both bathrooms will respond to the key phrase: “Help! Emergency!” and issue an alert. When triggered, the sensor outside the bathroom will light up, and a trained staff member will respond to the alert. 

Outside sensor (Ash Woerner)
Interior sensor (Ash Woerner)

Responses to these alerts will be handled in the same manner as any other school incident. Training for teachers and admin occurred this week. 

Students found to be in violation of student conduct — due to these sensor alerts — will be reprimanded or disciplined according to the type and severity of the infraction.



Program Purpose

The Restroom Privacy and Safety Pilot is intended to address state-wide concerns about restroom safety and drug/vape use. 

In 2021, the passing of former Governor Ralph Northam’s Model Transgender Policy — allowing transgender students to use the restrooms aligning with their gender identity — caused controversy surrounding the safety of student bathrooms. An incident of sexual assault at LCPS further exacerbated these concerns.  

The previous Model Transgender Policy has since been revoked by the passage of Governor Glenn Youngkin’s 2023 Model Transgender Policy — requiring transgender students to use the restrooms matching their birth sex. Still, the policy requires all Virginia schools to provide student access to single-occupancy, gender-neutral restrooms. 

Additionally, suspected Fentanyl overdoses in LCPS have sparked concerns about drug use in restrooms. Smoke-detecting sensors are part of an effort to address this issue and reduce teen vaping. 

This pilot program has been implemented in other high schools across the county. Broad Run, Dominion, Heritage and Woodgrove High Schools have all received these single-occupancy restroom renovations. Dominion, Heritage, Park View and Stone Bridge High Schools and Farmwell Station and Sterling Middle Schools have installed sensors in their existing student restrooms.

Story continues below advertisement
Donate to The Viking
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Loudoun Valley High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting and publishing costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Sarah Kelly
Sarah Kelly, Feature Editor
Hi! My name is Sarah Kelly, and I am a senior at Loudoun Valley. This is my second year on staff and as an editor. I love writing and am excited to continue my exploration into the world of journalism this year. My favorite focus is feature or opinion stories, however I’m also excited to branch out into other aspects of newspaper this year. Being a part of Valley’s newspaper staff has brought me many opportunities, and I’m excited for what’s to come.

As well as being a part of The Viking’s staff, I am also secretary for Valley’s music honors society (Tri-M), co-founder of the Women’s Empowerment Club, and a leader within Project Lit. This is my sixth year playing clarinet, and I love being able to bring together Valley’s various music programs through Tri-M. Outside of school hours, I spend most of my time doing color guard. This is my fifth year as a member of our school’s marching band, and I am captain of our color guard team. 

When I’m not spinning a flag, I can be found reading, embroidering, or out in nature with my family and our three dogs. I love to take moments to reflect on our world, and I am really looking forward to exploring those moments and stories that some might not notice through my writing for The Viking.

Ash Woerner
Ash Woerner, Opinion Editor
My name is Ash Woerner (they/them) and I’m a junior here at Valley. I’m starting my second year on staff as an opinion editor!

Outside of school and its related activities, I enjoy indulging various obsessions, including my current fixation on British horror podcast, "The Magnus Archives." I have a deep passion and affection for aesthetics, tea and the oxford comma. I’m hopeful for what the future holds for me here at The Viking!

Sam Bielawa
Sam Bielawa, Photo Editor
Donate to The Viking
Our Goal