BY SAVANNAH KEYSER
The topic of bathroom passes seems to be a sensitive subject here at Cooper. Some teachers feel that the students have the right and the maturity to manage their class time in a productive way and do not feel the need to limit their use of the bathroom; on the contrary, other teachers feel that if they give the students the liberty to use the restroom at their will, they might get too comfortable and abuse the privilege.
“When you have a situation that causes a lot of drama is when you start limiting the bathroom passes or create a sign-out sheet,” CCHS Teacher Mark Sturdivant said. “While there are plenty of students who do ask to use the restroom and only do that, there are also plenty of students who are just trying to leave the room to do whatever and we can’t have that happen.”
Often times students are scolded by teachers for using the bathroom too often during one specific class, and although the teacher may be correct in feeling that they are just using the pass to get out of class, that is not always the case. It might just be because that class is the only one that the teacher doesn’t put restrictions on bathroom passes or it might simply be because that is the time that they usually need to use the restroom.
“Limiting bathroom usage is a violation and restriction on a privilege that should be given ,without question, and never have to be earned,” junior Gaby Sumkin said. “Students that are 15, 16, 16, and 18 should be allowed to use their own discretion in the instance of whether or not they can afford to miss 5 minutes of class.”
Another reason that some teachers may not allow students to use the restroom during class time is because they feel that the student should be using their time in between classes to do whatever they need to do in this sense. In theory, this mindset makes a lot of sense, however, in practice, there isn’t enough time to use the restroom in between classes unless the classes are on the same floor because going through the stairwell takes a lot of time as there are quite a lot of students moving through them at once. Speaking of a lot of students in one place at the same time, if all students are expected to use the bathroom in between their classes they will be wasting even more class time waiting to use the restroom because there will be way more people in line than there are when class is taking place. Having every student use the bathroom at the same time would be counterproductive because there would be way too many people in one place at one time.
Going to the bathroom is a very personal thing that shouldn’t involve anyone else but the person going. Some people have situations that cause them to need more passes than others and teachers should be sensitive to these personal issues, whatever they may be.
“When teachers limit bathroom passes, it can cause issues in students,” junior Samantha Balata said. “Holding a full bladder can actually health related risks and I’m sure teachers don’t want that on their hands.”
While it is understandable that teachers are worried that students will abuse the bathroom passes that they are given, this should be an issue that is dealt with on a case-by-case basis. There are definitely students who affirm the teachers’ worries, however punishing all students for the faults of some is not the fairest solution to this situation. It would be better to let everyone use the bathroom whenever they feel the need, and if some students start to take advantage of this policy, the teacher could talk to them and work with them to figure out a compromise.