New bathroom policy addresses valid concerns

A new bathroom policy was implemented last week at the high school as a response to several ongoing factors in the school bathrooms. Now, teachers are encouraging students to limit bathroom breaks to in-between classes, making exceptions only for “emergencies” during class. 

I’ll be the first to admit that students at the high school definitely have a problem when it comes to respecting school property, specifically the bathrooms. There have been multiple instances where I’ve walked into the bathroom to see paper towels strewn across the floor, overflowing toilets and locked stalls. There have also been multiple times where groups of students will gather in the bathroom, making it difficult for others to get in and out in a timely manner. 

That being said, I do not think that the proposed solution does anything to solve these issues. While it would be ideal that all students used the bathroom during the six minute passing period, that is just most likely not going to happen. Students will still ask to use the bathroom during class, and it’s difficult for teachers to determine a real sense of whether or not it’s an emergency. 

The other issue at hand is the fact that oftentimes in girls bathrooms there are lines out the door. This means using the bathroom in between classes is virtually impossible and runs the risk of making students late for class. 

Instead of limiting when kids can use the bathroom, why are we not actively teaching and instilling values of respect for school property? I think that a much better plan of action would be instituting hall passes for the bathroom, and having classroom discussions with custodians and administrators about why it’s important to respect school rules and property. Sometimes recognizing the “why” behind rules is more important than the rules themselves.

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