Restrictive bathroom policies are inhumane, should be reconsidered for student benefit

Restrictive bathroom policies are inhumane, should be reconsidered for student benefit

Hannah Gretz

There are two words every student loves to hear: extra credit. Whether it be in the form of an activity, a worksheet or consistent attendance, I’ve never come across a classmate who does not appreciate it.

However, I find myself confused and frustrated at one particular policy many teachers implement in their classrooms. I have had several classroom experiences where teachers begin each semester by giving students two extra points. When a student uses the restroom, the teacher deducts an extra credit point from a student’s final grade.

While I do understand the rationale behind limiting bathroom usage, using the bathroom is a biological function that should not be restricted. Some students do abuse the privilege by roaming the halls, talking to friends or participating in another activity, but a pass restriction causes stress and frustration among the students who simply want to use the restroom without sacrificing their extra credit points. 

The reason why teachers don’t want students leaving their classroom is understandable—they spend several hours planning lessons and organizing the curriculum. However, there is a disconnect between students and teachers on when a proper bathroom break should occur.

All too often, I overhear teachers telling students, “You should have gone during passing period” upon a bathroom break request. While this sounds logical, the school building and jam-packed hallways don’t allow for this to happen. 

On gold days, for example, I travel from the third floor A rooms to the second floor E rooms, and I make it to class with only two or three minutes to spare. Here is the kicker: I don’t stop at my locker, nor do I stop to get a drink or use the restroom, simply because I don’t have time. Girls have to form a line that stretches out the door just to use the bathroom during passing period. If teachers allowed for unlimited bathroom passes, students wouldn’t have the added stress of finding time to use the restroom, an unnecessary stress in the first place.

Not only does this system cause stress among students, but it’s physically unhealthy, according to Relias, a healthcare company. Students are restricting their bodily functions for the sole purpose of achieving a higher grade. While it’s not always the case, constantly abiding by this can cause a medical issue as students have to skip the need to use the restroom.

The ability to use the bathroom without sacrificing extra credit is a simple concept and one that will physically and mentally benefit students.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Hannah Gretz at [email protected]


Click this link to read an article about why teachers shouldn’t impose harsh bathroom policies in class.