I was lurking this past weekend in a Twitter conversation about restroom passes in schools.
@davidtedu I don’t use passes, never have. But I don’t care if other teachers want to. I just don’t want the paperwork.— Alice Keeler (@alicekeeler) April 28, 2013
It is a fairly common pet peeve among teachers. We all have the correct restroom policy, and everyone else is wrong. We all know that kids use “I have to go to the restroom” as code for “I am bored and need to get out of here” or “I need to call someone.” Rarely does it mean “I have to pee.” But still we give passes.
I teach high school. Up until this year I would tell the kids “if you have your big boy pants on you don’t need to go to the restroom. I have never had a high school student wet their pants.” Well, this year it happened. Someone wet their pants. I had to get a new policy. So I started paying closer attention.
Mine is a small high school, with about 250 kids. But there is only one restroom for each gender. During the passing period the restrooms are really full of kids; they are changing clothes for PE and making phone calls. They have to change in the restroom, it is required. So there are 15 to 20 kids in a three stall restroom changing for PE. It is crowded. Then their are the phone kids. The restroom is the only place kids are “allowed” to use their phones, or at least it is the only place they can openly use their phone without risk of confiscation. So what do you do if you have to, you know, pee? You go during class, because thats the only real option.