The PROBLEM WITH BATHROOM PASSES
by Hanbin Kim (11)
In most places, going to the restroom is neither regulated or controlled. However, for many students at Foothill, trips to the toilet have been hindered by the introduction of “bathroom passes,” certain mandatory pieces of plastic or paper that must be carried whenever a student exits the classroom. Without doubt, we’ve all probably have trudged to the clipboard in the side or corner of the classroom, written our names, and exited with the pass. Many students wish for an end to this tedious process simply because they see no point to it, and even more wonder why it was ever implemented in the first place.
The simple reason is that Foothill has never had formal, publicized restroom policies. Rules and restrictions for the bathroom shouldn’t be unpopular; after all, they ensure the safety of the student body and reduce liability for all parties. Yet, because this new bathroom pass initiative has been so quickly introduced, there has been a lack of proper implementation and execution.
Consider that several teachers have already set rules such as the “one-person-at-a-time” rule to regulate the flow of students leaving the classroom. This rule is meant to prevent students from trying to cut class when they claim to need to use the restroom. However, it is a huge inconvenience for students who just want to do their business. What if six different people in one classroom all need to go but aren’t able to because of this policy? Must teachers then make individual decisions ad hoc each time?
Moreover, these bathroom passes don’t actually have a significant effect on the students’ intentions anyway. If a student really wishes to escape a boring presentation in class or covertly use illicit substances, he will find a way to do it regardless of the barriers placed. The bathroom pass simply isn’t sufficient as a preventative measure, making them utterly ineffective in the reason they were used in the first place. Therefore, the administration might as well get rid of it and reduce the hassle for the honest people who do not wish to wait for twelve others before they can go. Other safety and liability measures can be introduced instead such as a more comprehensive attendance system as well as more enhancing restroom accessibility around the school in order to minimize the need for in-class restroom breaks. As of right now, the school has only four sets of universally accessible restrooms in total, a paltry sum compared to the frequency on nearby high school campuses.
Evidently, our school has prioritized monitoring students over considering the inconvenience of these bathroom passes. We, as students, should challenge the school’s policies and appeal to the administration on whether bathroom passes are necessary. We need measures to improve student safety, but this just isn’t one.