The Cruelty of the Restroom Pass
The Cruelty of the Restroom Pass What is more important, a student’s health, or four minutes lost of class? This is a pressing question that students and teachers must ask themselves because by not allowing students to use the restroom during classes, teachers put students health at risk. Currently, most public schools in their code of conduct allow students to use the restroom during class and while transitioning classes after the bell.
However, each classroom goes by its own procedure presented at the beginning of the year by the teacher. So while some teachers allow their students with no hesitation to use the restroom, others enforce strict tyrannical rules restricting restroom usage as a whole. There should be a school-wide restroom usage policy that cannot be compromised by individual classroom teachers, because restrictions to use the restroom can lead to the students obtaining a Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), and can be equally as detrimental to the relationship between a student and a teacher. Being allowed to use the restroom anytime during any class reduces the amount of UTI’s attained each year. One of the biggest causes of UTI’s is the lack of ability to empty the bladder.
Because there is simply not enough time between classes to use the restroom the only option remains to use it during class. Rather than having the free will to go during class, students’ only choice is to resort to shaking impulsively or “holding it in” which is extremely detrimental to a healthy bladder. Very disturbing. As stated in Margret Alice’s article entitled “Urinary Tract Infection” the main causes of UTIsinclude, “delayed urination, and failure to empty the bladder” (Alic). When students are allowed to use the restroom when their bladder is most full, then the probability of getting a UTI decreases.
In addition, a successful classroom is one where student-teacher relations are good. But by enforcing rules that hurt the student then there is bad communication and the classroom changes from a helpful learning environment to an unexcitable jail. An article done by The Elementary School Journal found these predictions to be highly feasible stating, “classroom communication, teacher’s clarity of instructions and understanding of students’ needs, is particularly important in maintain the interconnectedness of management and instruction” (Brophy). Also, the article points out that communication is essential and that “maintenance of a learning environment combines a teacher’s careful attention to group dynamics, individual student needs, and clear communication.” Therefore, it is in the best interest of the students, the teachers, and the administration to allow students to use the restroom at their own convenience. In spite of multifarious amounts of evidence that show the inimical effects of not allowing students to use the restroom during class, many teachers stand in strong opposition because of several cases where students’ have abused the right to leave the classroom.
In fact, there are students that have and probably will continue to use the restroom pass inappropriately; however, these same students are going to find ways to “out-smart” the system. But this fear of a few rebellious teenagers should not cause the majority of students to have their fundamental right taken away. The key word is “right.” Using the restroom isn’t a privilege it is a right, in fact, being denied the request to use the restroom is illegal in the United States, it’s ingrained within society, “Labor laws state that employers must allow workers to use the restroom. In the past, workers have sued employers that refused to allow them to use the restroom.
The courts ruled in their favor. Adults who go back to school to continue their education are allowed to get up and leave class whenever they need to get a drink or use the restroom. They do not have to ask permission” (Couture). If other citizens are already using this right but it is being denied to certain groups of people not only is it morally unjust but it is also illegal. Ergo, implementing a school-wide policy will not further the number of UTIs in children, and it creates a friendlier learning environment between student and teacher. Students will have access by all their teachers to the lavatory, which will make them feel more open to communication and compromise, which are both important quality in and out of school.
Because four minutes of class lost to a UTI is clearly not worth it, the administration can enforce a legitimate policy and make students happier by making them healthier.