School Bathroom Passes

School Bathroom Passes

Cate Farnsworth, Writer

It is a fact that kids, like all humans, go to the bathroom. And when children need to use the restroom during class, they could potentially take time away from their own learning. So, should teachers have the ability to control how many times students go to the bathroom during class? At McAuliffe International School, multiple eighth grade language arts teachers, have handed out Restroom Sheets. These are pieces of paper with six bathroom passes written on them. These six slips of paper state that students are only allowed to use the bathroom during language arts class, six times for an entire semester. Personally, I believe that this action of controlling children’s bladders is unfair and shouldn’t be allowed at McAuliffe.

I think that bathroom passes should not be issued at McAuliffe, because children can’t control when they need to use the bathroom and six passes for four months is not nearly enough allotted time. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “In general, everyone should urinate every 2 or 3 hours.” The McAuliffe school day is seven hours long, starting at 9:10 and ending at 4:10. Even if kids go to the bathroom before school starts, they will most likely need to urinate at least once during the day. And because you can’t truly control when you need to go to the bathroom, this could mean that students might need to go to the bathroom every single day during language arts class. Plus, McAuliffe encourages their students to drink water during the day. On the Children’s Hospital website, they state that kids should drink over 48 oz of water a day. So if students are truly drinking all that water, they will have a lot of liquid in their system. Meaning that they will need to go to the bathroom even more, and thus use more of their bathroom passes. All of the water and necessary restroom trips, mean that kids will need to urinate during class way more than two times a month, and trying to control how many times they do go, is unfair and way too limiting.

Some language arts teachers argue that kids go to the bathroom to avoid going to class, and that the bathroom can take time away from learning. This is all true. Even if students are responsible in the school restrooms, and go straight to the bathroom and back to class, they could be taking about ten minutes for the trip, if their classroom isn’t close to the bathroom. But, McAuliffe includes brain breaks in each of their classes. Brain breaks are usually about five minutes allotted to stretching, talking to friends or watching a video, in order to take a break from learning. If students use the bathroom during these rest times, they will only miss about five minutes of actual instructions after the break is over. That is not a lot of time missed especially when students are gone from entire days of school due to absences. And if the kid wants to know what they missed when they were in the bathroom, they can always ask another student around them. This means they will get caught up on the work, so that it won’t even feel like they were gone.

These different points about how many times kids should go to the bathroom everyday, water intakes, and brain breaks, bring up the question if McAuliffe should still be following the restroom pass policy. Personally I think it is too restricting for students, but the teachers obviously have a different opinion.