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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

They Say Hold It, or Else!

I am so glad I am not a student at Evergreen Park High School in Evergreen, Illinois.  You see, the school recently established a policy that allows a student to leave class to visit the restroom only 3 times during a semester.  Any further visits and the student gets detention.

The reasoning behind the policy is that students shouldn't be missing valuable class time, nor should they be using the restroom as "an excuse to miss class."  Students complain that with only five minutes between classes, there's not enough time to go to the restroom in that time.  


EPHS has 950 students, which is roughly the size of a school in which I taught for 12 years.  In a building of the size required to house that many students, the distance between classrooms and student lockers, as I recall, can make getting from one end of the building to the other, a stop at a locker to get required materials, AND a restroom stop a real challenge.


Then there's the whole "time of the month" issue that girls have to deal with; that alone can make extra restroom stops a necessity!  Maybe times have changed, or student needs are different in Illinois than they are in Maine, but I don't recall students losing class time in the restroom being an issue.  If teachers make their classes engaging, I doubt that many students will be trying to duck them.

High school is stressful enough for most kids.  My feeling is they shouldn't be forced into a situation where they have to choose:  "To Pee or Not to Pee."

Any thoughts on the topic?  If you're a high school teacher, does your school have a policy on bathroom usage?  What are your feelings as a parent?

EVA

23 comments:

JackieA said...

That rule could cause nasty infections if students have to hold it in longer than necessary. I say its a lawsuit waiting to happen!

River said...

That is very, very wrong!! Like JackieA said infections etc, not to mention the agony of a distended bladder or bowel. I would be contacting the education board and removing my child from the school until the issue is resolved.

Queenie Jeannie said...

This is just plain stupid AND illegal!! I remember being in school and another school tried this and a group of parents sued! You cannot tell anyone that they can't use the bathroom. I mean really, when you gotta go, you gotta go! Schools and have hall monitors who wander the halls and check out bathrooms as well.

My oldest daughter went through this with a teacher one year and I told him to let her go WHENEVER she needed to or that I'd go to the school board and raise a stink to high heaven! She wound up stretching out her intestines from "holding" it, as she didn't tell me about this issue until halfway thru the school year! She still suffers from constipation some times.

Something you didn't touch on, is that in larger schools, kids have to wait to get an open stall too (especially girls!!!), so that 5 minutes usually isn't sufficient!

Sue said...

That's ridiculous.

If I were a student there, I'd be picketing.

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Gail said...

My feelimgs are this is just plain down right STUPID!

How in the world can they even think to enforce a rule like this? If a few kids would potty in their chairs, they may change that rule.

Brian Miller said...

yep i served detention for it when in HS...like kids are really paying attention if they are needing to pee...

Singedwingangel said...

I hate to break it to the school but their rule is unconstitutional and can be fought in court. AS a mom to a child who had bathroom issues and who found a school system who would rather home school him then follow doctor's orders about it I know how these kids feel. However, if the kids decide to homeschool or switch schools that school loses much needed government money. Take away their money and they begin to say oh wait a minute maybe we were a bit hasty.

rosaria said...

Now this is due to be a court case any day now.

SherilinR said...

that's insane. and even if you go as fast as you can, there are times when bathroom breaks don't fit neatly into a short period of time. if there's a problem in the school of kids cutting classes by hanging out in the bathrooms, then they need to post a couple staff members near bathrooms to put the kabosh on that rather than penalize the whole student body.

David Allen Waters said...

I think this will be heading to court soon, this isnt even healthy. To hold ones self can cause health issues, let alone stress, affraid of peeing yourself....bad move Illinios

Pat said...

I'm sure their are kids who use the bathroom as an excuse to miss class. But don't you think the teacher would be aware of the culprits? C'mon, a girl needs more than 5 minutes to change a tampon, get to her locker to gather her books, and get to class. This is definitely UNFAIR. And what about those unexpected visits from your "friend"? You need to use the bathroom right then and there! This is a stupid law and I'm surprised the parents and students aren't protesting this!

Kristina P. said...

Only 5 minutes between class? If there were more time, I would say it was reasonable to go on break. I work with teens in a non-traditional school environment, where they have half hour breaks, and they choose not to take advantage of them, and decide to go during break, and we penalize them. But 5 minutes?

tsonodablog said...

Completely agree with you on this one. In fact, I'm not sure it's even legal, is it? Ridiculous!

Jen said...

I do not believe this!! I know, there are a lot of drugs/smoking that teachers have to deal with now a days....but this is "unlawful" I would think.....

ipenka said...

"To Pee or not to Pee" Haha!

Yeah, that is ridiculous. Talk about overzealous administrators. There are always so many of them.

Bersercules said...

Sounds like there just trying to stop the kids that go out to talk during class.
If I was in that school I'd pee when I needed to and if that got me detention I'd just egnore it.

Al Penwasser said...

Five minutes between class is NOT enough time to "go." Whenever someone asks to use the restroom, I never deny their request (ESPECIALLY if it's a girl, for just the reason you stated). If they are going to abuse it, I will catch on, but I always give them the benefit of the doubt. Putting in place a draconian measure such as this may SOUND good, but it doesn't take into account a lot of factors.
Sheesh, this kinda crap (no pun intended) makes bladders sadder. Let's make our bladders gladder, why don't we?
This would fail a court challenge, big time.

The Frisky Virgin said...

Frankly, there is a constitutional and health issue here. Call in the lawyers because something like this would NEVER stand, in my opinion. Infuriating.

And, if I were a student, I would totally go to the bathroom. I'd like to see them try to stop me OR give me detention. It's my body, my health, my freedom. Period.

Oh, and does this rule hold true for faculty and staff? If the students can't go, then neither should the adults, right? Ridiculous.

Eva Gallant said...

rosaria: I agree, completely!

Frisky: What you say is true!

Bersercules: I'm with you on that!

ipenka: Heady with power, I'd say!

Jen: You are undoubtedly right!

Terri: I would think it would be illegal!

Kristy said...

I feel like these kinds of blanket policies are not effective. So much more can be handled by trusting teachers (gasp!) to make professional decisions (gasp!) so that if a particular student is seeming to use the bathroom as an excuse, a plan can be put in place for that student with communication with parents as well. Duh.

oceangirl said...

Hi Eva, I can't believe it.

Kelley said...

That is taking it way too far. Kids that abuse the privilege should be dealt with individually.

Grams said...

I realize that there are kids who take advantage and abuse bathroom privileges, but that's ridiculous. I learned early in my career as a substitute teacher to respond when someone said they need to go. I won't go into detail, but it was not pretty. Now I ask, "Can you wait until passing period?" If they can't wait, they go. I do warn them that I'm watching the clock though and I have had to call an administrator to check on them a couple of times. Parents need to speak out against this policy.