Classroom Toilet Rules Turns Schools Into Prisons

I have one rule when it comes to toilet use during class time.

If you need to go, you won’t be timed or denied access to the toilet. You don’t even have to raise your hand to ask. Just let a friend know where you are going.

I don’t care if they need to go multiple times in a day. I don’t care if they need to go just after recess. My bladder isn’t always as predictable as I’d hope, why should I subject my 11 year-old students to standards I can’t always live by?

My students do no exploit this rule. They do not take a long time to go and classes are not disturbed by my rule. In fact, the students love this rule because it treats them like responsible citizens rather than inmates.

I can’t stand toilet rules. That’s why I am not sympathetic to this school’s predicament:


Police were called when a protest erupted at a British school after students were limited to two toilet breaks a day.

Officers were forced to be called in after up to 40 students took to the playing fields on Friday morning protesting the controversial new rule at Bedale High School in North Yorkshire.

Parents have criticised the school after being informed the 580 pupils were only allowed a bathroom break between 11.05am and 11.25am, and 12.25pm and 12.45pm.

The decision was criticised as “breaching human rights”, but the 11-16 comprehensive school maintains the toilets are accessible on request and to those who held a ‘medical card’.

Parents first learned of the new policy by a letter in February, which ITV reported as saying: “There is no access to the main building (where the toilets are located) after 12.45pm.”

Lunch finishes at 1.10pm, adding to the outrage.

One parent, who posted anonymously on Facebook, said: “I believe that this is humiliating and undignified and is a breach of human rights to be denied access to toilets at any other time unless you have a medical need, and totally ridiculous to say that you cannot go to the toilet after you have had lunch.

“My daughter had stayed behind in her class to do extra work and then went to the toilet at 12.45pm but staff wouldn’t let her go.

“I wrote to the Head saying I felt this was a breach of human rights and she wrote back saying that those with medical issues would need to get a note from the doctor.

“It’s appalling, the fact that if they have got medical issues they have got to show a pass, they are making them a target for bullies, it’s just degrading.”

And Pupil Madelaine Anderson agreed, writing: “I find this unfair on everyone not only girls but also boys, not everyone needs to have a ‘medical note’ to be allowed to use the toilet.”

But a notice posted on Bedale High’s website defended the move, saying the new behavioural code was part of an overall action plan.

They said: “The code also includes tighter rules on uniform and on reducing the numbers of students outside of classrooms during lesson time. 

“As part of this the school has reminded students that toilets are freely accessible during specific periods at lunchtime and break time but that students who need the toilet during lessons, or need access for medical reasons, will always be given access on request. Toilets are therefore accessible at all times.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire police confirmed they were called to a protest at the school but advised staff it was not a police matter.


Click on the link to read Hands Up if You Don’t Like Putting Your Hands Up

Click on the link to read Every Good Teacher Should be Allowed to Make a Mistake

Click on the link to read Girls Banned From Running at Sporting Events

Click on the link to read Schools Don’t Get Much More Scary Than This


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One Response to “Classroom Toilet Rules Turns Schools Into Prisons”

  1. English Expressions Says:

    This is ridiculous – only 40 minutes alotted for students? As you said, even our bladders don’t follow a predictable pattern. How can we expect students to train their bladders? Respect goes both ways; the more respect we show students, the more respect they will show to us. This is probably why your ‘bathroom system’ works so well. If anything this will cause more distractions in the classroom! Thanks for sharing.

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