Teachers limit student restroom usage

Senior+Heidi+Ngo+struggles+to+open+the+door+to+the+locked+bathroom+by+the+cafeteria%2C+leaving+only+two+available+restrooms+on+the+first+floor.
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Teachers limit student restroom usage

Senior Heidi Ngo struggles to open the door to the locked bathroom by the cafeteria, leaving only two available restrooms on the first floor.

Senior Heidi Ngo struggles to open the door to the locked bathroom by the cafeteria, leaving only two available restrooms on the first floor.

Christina Rufo

Senior Heidi Ngo struggles to open the door to the locked bathroom by the cafeteria, leaving only two available restrooms on the first floor.

Christina Rufo

Christina Rufo

Senior Heidi Ngo struggles to open the door to the locked bathroom by the cafeteria, leaving only two available restrooms on the first floor.

Christina Rufo, Editor

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While students adjust to the new school year, many teachers have implemented restrictions on the number of student bathroom breaks.

English teacher Nick Somich is one of the handful of teachers who have given students a set number of restroom passes per quarter. 

He said, “I have had many lessons interrupted because of kids asking me to use the bathroom. It was not only frustrating for me to have to stop the lesson, but I also knew it was equally frustrating for other students in the classroom.” 

Somich explained that the time it takes to stop, write out a pass, and then return to his lesson plans wasted necessary class time.

He, however, is not the only teacher to adopt this new principle. Somich’s idea actually came from science teacher Chris Torda, who gives two or three hall passes for the quarter, while other teachers also use the incentive of bonus points for passes not used.

Government teacher Ryan Pubentz limits his students to two restroom breaks per quarter because he feels time in class is important and should not be wasted.

On the other hand, students are not as thrilled about such restricted bathroom access.

Senior Haneen Hamideh recalled a time in eighth grade when a teacher refused to let her go to the restroom. She had no other choice but to exit the room without permission due to the teacher’s lack of understanding.

During that time she felt disrespected and did not see a reason as to why she could not go, especially since it was during individual work time. She said, “It seems the school doesn’t want us to be using the restroom during class, which can make it hard for some teachers to grant permission.”

Somich did, however, state that if a student has used up all the passes for the quarter he will not refuse the student the right to use the restroom, although it still causes inconvenience.

Senior Heidi Ngo is in the MedTech program and strongly believes that teachers should not be able to deny students a pass to the bathroom. From her medical classes, she explained how not using the restroom can cause infection, kidney stones, and other possible damage.

Although there is a five minute passing time between classes, it does not always give enough time for students to use the restroom, stop at their locker, and make it to their next class on time.

Ngo said, “There was a test done to see if the passing period gave us enough time, but it didn’t take into account the lines in the bathroom that causes students to have to wait even longer.

“I don’t think it’s fair to the students,” Ngo said.  “There are always circumstances that you don’t know about like periods, UTIs, or others. It is something you can’t control.”

Both Somich and Ngo agree that students should be able to use the restroom five minutes into class or five minutes before as it would cause less disruption.

For a better solution, Somich expressed he would be open-minded to a system where one student could quietly leave class and return without the need of a hall pass, but it is not really possible with the hall monitors and pass policy.

Limiting students’ use of the restroom is not ideal, but according to Somich, it is the lesser of two evils in regards to class time disruption.

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