Is Bathroom Policy Indefensible

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by love2help, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. love2help

    love2help Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2010

    I work at an Urban School in Milwaukee and the principal is very stern about a "NO BATHROOM POLICY" I agree with him that letting students out of the classroom during class is unexcusable accept for 1.) Female Issues 2.) Medical Reasons.

    I always insist on my children staying in the classroom.
     
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  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Sep 21, 2010

    Not allowing students to go to the bathroom during class (as long as they don't do it excessively) is simply..... rude.

    How much time do you have in between classes?

    Three minutes?

    Five minutes?

    That isn't enough time to go to a locker, go to the bathroom, and then get to class on time.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that most high school students should be able to handle using the bathroom once before the school day, once during lunch, and once after school. I realize that there are students with certain medical conditions who need to be permitted to use the bathroom more frequently, plus there are those occasional unexpected emergencies, but in general I think that most students can get by without having to use the bathroom during class most of the time.

    I don't typically give bathroom passes. A lot of the fights and drug use that happen on our campus happen in the bathrooms where no one is around to supervise. I just prefer to avoid all that mess and keep my students in my classroom where I can keep an eye on them.

    Of course, if a student is having a true emergency, I will let them go. Generally, though, no. They can go after class or after school. I mean, I'm not really able to go to the bathroom during class either, and somehow I manage. So can they.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm not sure about the policy in elementary schools, though. I don't really know about the physical development of little kids' urinary tracts, so I don't know how long they can reasonably hold it.
     
  6. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Our students are not allowed to leave class to go anywhere including the bathroom during classes. They are only allowed to go to their lockers between certain periods and they have enough time to go to their locker and the bathroom between these periods. They have enough time to go to just the bathroom between the other periods. It is not a problem. Once in a great while, I will have a girl come up to me and ask to go and tell me it is an emergency or a student ask to go because they don't feel good and that is only maybe twice every year. It works well for us.
     
  7. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I would think that most elementary schools have bathroom time as a class built into the schedule.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 21, 2010

    Can we assume that that same principal has never had to use the bathroom between 8 and 3?? And that his wife and daughters can say the same thing?

    Sorry, but I htink he's big time wrong.
     
  9. TampaTeacher2Be

    TampaTeacher2Be Comrade

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    Sep 21, 2010

    Are we talking no bathroom period? Or just no bathroom during class?

    I do not allow students to use the bathroom at all during class. All my students have class changes between 4 rooms that are on the same hallway, and the bathrooms are right in the same pod. Our passing time is plenty of time for students to use the bathroom, visit with a friend, and be back to class on time. We also build a bathroom visit into our day on the way back from lunch.
     
  10. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Sep 21, 2010

    We don't and it's always drama between teachers/students, teachers/parents and then the P comes in at whatever time, picking random sides depending on the circumstance.

    I have, however, built it in to MY afternoon because I feel it's ridiculous to expect little kids to sit for 3 solid hours. It's worked out pretty well but I still get annoyed when 5-10 min after RECESS they ask to use the bathroom.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Guru

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    I disagree with your principal.

    I also disagree that "most high school students should be able to handle using the bathroom once before the school day, once during lunch, and once after school." I recall having a few bathroom passes in high school and using them all in Mrs. M's class after lunch very soon after the school year began. Lunch was around the eleventh hour and her class was around one in the afternoon. I might not have needed or been able to use the bathroom during lunch or immediately afterwards, but I sure had to go around the one o'clock time. She couldn't wrap her brain around that and that wasn't the best of situations. :(

    They're people. I don't like preventing someone from using the bathroom. It seems so very controlling and just wrong. I use my common sense, and my students, for the most part, are honest. It's not a big deal. I don't do passes or anything like that. If you truly need to go, please go.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    One year we had kids who were such vandals and hoodlums that they couldn't be allowed out during class. They'd get in trouble in the bathrooms so much that we had a "no bathroom during class" rule.

    If there was an emergency, the student had to walk to the front office to use the bathroom in the nurse's station. They had to have a signed/time note from the teacher and a return one from the office staff. It was enough of a hassle that only the ones who really needed to go went.

    Currently we have a no 10/10 rule . . . nobody out of class the first 10 minutes or the last 10 minutes of class. They have 4 minutes between classes, and the bathrooms are on each wing. Classes are mostly confined to one wing, so they never are far from a bathroom.
     
  13. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Sep 21, 2010

    Last year, I had a serious problem with the same kids having to use the bathroom every single day during last period. This was only a little over an hour AFTER they had a chance to use the bathroom coming in from break.

    The same thing started happening again this year and - again - with the last class of the day. I asked the AP if I needed to make up a "hall pass" for the kids and she said "No, because they do NOT need to be leaving your room during class. Your classtime is too short as it is (because of the overall schedule) and they shouldn't be missing ANY of it."

    So the other 6th grade teacher and I got together, discussed it and now we MAKE the students go the bathroom when they come in from break, reminding them they will NOT get another break for the last two classes of the day.

    I personally don't like having to tell kids they can't use the bathroom, however, I've not had any accidents in my room and I've not had any kids keep coming to me repeatedly after being told "No" - so obviously they didn't have to go as badly as they claimed.

    Now, IF they get all of their work done and we have a few minutes before class dismisses, then I will let them go. Also, like some of the PP's mentioned, I can usually tell when it really is an emergency and when it is just a ruse to get out of the room for a few minutes. So far, I've not had any emergencies. If I do, then of course I will let the kid go.
     
  14. Mrs. Q

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    Sep 21, 2010

    I agree with JustMe -- I never tell a student that they can't go to the bathroom, unless I just know the student well enough to know they are trying to get out of class.
     
  15. MuggleBug

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    Sep 21, 2010

    I always let kids go but I keep track of how long they're gone. If it's longer than the time it takes to walk to the bathroom and back then they get put on pass restriction. I know I have to use the bathroom at pretty much the same time every day so I'm not always surprised when kids do. I did send a hall monitor after a kid once because he was gone a long time (and he was one that wasn't totally trustworthy)...but lo and behold, he was in the bathroom having to take care of business.

    I had an accident in elementary school because a teacher wouldn't let me use the bathroom and I have a lot of other issues that come from not getting to use the bathroom when necessary so I'm very sensitive to it...sometimes you can tell when kids just want to escape and have to use your own judgment, but I won't ever completely deny kids the chance to use the bathroom in my class. I'd just establish more appropriate times for them to go (i.e. not during the lesson/lecture but during independent working time is okay).
     
  16. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    This drives me nuts. How would that principal like it if he was treated like this? Our students deserve to be treated like adults. It is disrespectful to them to regulate their bathroom use, unless they abuse their privileges. This is so not worth fighting about and can cause much concern with the students. Some people need to realize how much you can gain like treating our students like people.
     
  17. Blue

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    Sep 22, 2010

    Is it legal to deny kids a bathroom break?
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Even aside from the legalities, it holds potential for a HUGE discipline problem.

    If I tell a 16 year old that he or she cannot use the bathroom, they'll try to go along with me for a while. But if, at some point, their need becomes urgent, it is going to become a discipline problem. No, I don't think they'll have an accident. Because I don't think they'll stay in the room long enough for that to happen. And if they do leave against my wishes, I would imagine they'll have second thoughts about returning to my class to face my wrath in front of their peers. The I have a student for whom I'm responsible who is MIA.

    Add in the fact that it's incredibly degrading to deny anyone that basic human need.

    If kids abuse my bathroom policy, then it's not about the bathroom, it's about discipline, and I'll handle it as such. But that has very rarely happened. Normally a brief comment, such as "If this keeps up, we'll have to chat" results in an apology and a change in the behavior.

    But abusing my authority by denying a kid a bathroom break is cruel, and is asking for trouble.
     
  19. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Sep 22, 2010

    [​IMG]
    This is a problem that has been around since the invention of sliced bread .
    Students WILL abuse (push it to the limit) any rule you make.

    Being a elective, my students would remain in the same "pod" (6 classrooms) all day except for my period. their team teachers would not allow the use the restrooms except at specific times.
    A boy's room was right next to my room and A girl's room was down the hall (about 60') next to where the students entered the building. When I would do class orientation (rules) I explained that if they had to use the restroom, just go in as they walked by, the restroom, since I greeted my students (stood outside my door and they lined up in two lines) and I could see both bathroom doors. The boys were obvious, since their door was about 6 feet from where I would stand, the girls would give me wave and point.
    I always had a supply of feminine items for girls to get (in a secret hiding place that only the girls and I knew) if they had that kind of emergency.
    The only time they were not allowed was if it was the first period of the day or the period after lunch.
    I explained if they abused the rule that they would have to end up using the restroom in the nurse's office.

    BTW it never stopped being a problem, just with some "Management" it was lessened.
    BTW2 Is Bathroom Policy Indefensible? Not for older children middle school and up
     
  20. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    BTW3
    if a student was doing the pee-pee dance and
    not auditioning for "So You Think You Can Dance"
    I would let them go.
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Starista

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    Sep 22, 2010

    Just a funny story..

    I have a 3rd grade boy this year who certainly goes to his own drummer....

    Anyway he is like clock work ~ Uses the restroom EVERY day around 10:00 AM... Well, the other day I noticed that he was in there for about 6 minutes so I knock gently on the door and ask if he's ok? He says "Oh yea! Just finishin' up!" I smile and return to teaching...

    3 minutes later -- this is so funny -- he walks out with a Highlights Magazine tucked under his arm, WHISTLING and walks back to his seat!!! HAHAHAAAA!!!

    As for restroom policy... We have one in our classroom so it's nota huge deal... I encourage them to go during recess and snack as both are outside and there is a larger bathroom outside. :)
     

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