The Bathroom Privilege

Jacqueline Payan, Reporter

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Using the bathroom is something we all have to do during the day. It’s a basic human need that keeps us alive and healthy, like eating, sleeping and breathing. Yet I have witnessed various occasions since the beginning of elementary school where a teacher has denied a student the right to use the bathroom and instructed them to “hold it” instead.

As high schoolers, we are told that we should be able to manage our bathroom schedules in between classes and during breaks, but students don’t always need to use it then.

I personally try my very best to go in between classes, if the bathroom lines are short enough because I hate being told to hold it in an extra 10 minutes before the bell. There are so many health risks than can develop because you hold it in only 10 minutes! On top of that, I can’t pay attention in class with a full bladder!

I think teachers like to have a sense of order and control over their students in their classrooms. Many of them seem to feel someone using the bathroom is a disruption to their class. Needing to use the bathroom should never be a disruption.

It’s probably better to let a student go to the bathroom than watch them continuously move in their seat or have them fail a test because the only thing on their mind was going to the bathroom.

Also, teachers seem to think that students use the bathroom to miss class and wander the halls. Of course this does happen, but it should not be a reason to deny a student’s bathroom right when their body decides it’s time to go eliminate waste. Those misusing their time will have to deal with missed lessons themselves.

Those teachers who provide their students three bathroom coupons are just as unfair as those who ask students to hold it.

As humans we use the bathroom every day, not just three times every five months! Of course those are designed for emergencies only, but that’s not even one emergency per month! Even then only one emergency per month seems faulty since we can’t really know for sure how many times we might need to go during class in five months.

Girls especially save these up to use when that time of month comes around. Saving these up for this time means that when girls need to go they are forced to choose between holding it or using it for an unknown emergency for that time of month.

Using up your bathroom passes should never be a reason why you are not allowed to go to the bathroom.

Denying the use of the bathroom or telling anyone to “hold it” can cause so many problems like bladder infections or your bladder not sending the signal to your brain, letting waste exit without permission! Not letting students use the bathroom during school times also makes us avoid drinking fluids, risking dehydration.

Using the bathroom is an essential part of a healthy life and I believe it should never be denied to anyone. It is a right, not a privilege. When a student asks to go to the bathroom during class, the answer should never be “no”.