The Restroom Pass.

I was lurking this past weekend in a Twitter conversation about restroom passes in schools.

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.



2 thoughts on “The Restroom Pass.

  1. Hey I just saw this Mark. Next time you reference me in a blog post LET ME KNOW. I agree w/ you that every teacher thinks that they have the best bathroom policy, but I’m always going to lean on the side of human decency and letting kids take care of their needs so they can FOCUS on learning. If a few kids take advantage of that policy so be it. I have a blog post about this here:

    http://thereadinessisall.com/2013/02/05/the-dark-side-of-the-course-what-star-wars-can-teach-us-about-student-engagement-and-not-paying-attention-in-class/

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