New pass policy creates an undue burden on students, teachers


Ethan Blastick

Now that we are in the eighth week of school, students are in a routine and getting used to homework and after-school activities. One adjustment students still have to get accustomed to is the new rule on hall passes. Starting this school year, for a student to leave the class to go anywhere, including the restroom, they have to have a written pass from a teacher. Also, if a student is ever late to class, even by a minute or two, they have to go to the student services office and get a pass. On paper, this does not sound like a bad rule, but in reality, it becomes a nuisance for both students and teachers. 

The main inconvenience of the new rule for teachers is that if a student needs to leave the room the teacher must stop the lesson and write them a pass. In past years when students used the restroom during class, most students scanned a QR code, filled out an electronic pass or simply asked their teacher for verbal permission. Writing a physical pass, on the other hand, takes a significant amount of time out of the teacher’s lesson, especially if many students need to use the restroom. 

For students, one issue with the written bathroom pass rule is that it urges students to use the restroom during passing periods. This is not that much of an issue for male students, but for female students, there can be problems. During each passing period, many of the women’s restrooms have lines that are out the door, and there are also a handful of bathrooms that are still out of order from previous years. This causes female students to either wait to use the restroom or wait in line but then be late for class. The fear of being late to class could cause students to hold in the urge to use the restroom.

On that note, fear of disrupting class may drive some to change their bathroom habits. If students do not use the restroom when they need to this could create health issues, especially for women. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, “Holding urine for a long time allows bacteria to multiply within the urinary tract, resulting in cystitis.” This means that if students hold the urge to use the restroom then over time it could result in health issues. 

All of these reasons are why the school should bring back electronic passes and QR codes. They were much more efficient for teachers and students. Teachers did not have to stop class to write passes for students, and students could comfortably leave the room without disrupting class. The purpose of the paper pass rule is to keep students from lingering in the halls, but if the school implemented a thought-out electronic pass system then students can still have something to show administrators if stopped in the halls. The paper pass rule is a step in the wrong direction and instead, the school should focus on a more modern pass system that benefits both students and teachers.