CAMPUS: Many teachers combat misbehavior with strict bathroom pass policies

Spanish teacher David Llamas tapes another bright Post-It note on his desk. Llamas has been taking note of students who have been taking elongated breaks from class while claiming they are using the restroom. This year, in an attempt to fix the bathroom break problem, Llamas decided to implement bathroom pass policies, as have many other SCHS teachers.

Llamas’s policy gives students four bathroom passes per semester, which makes students think twice before asking to use the restroom. He has added more incentive for students to plan out their bathroom breaks by offering extra credit depending on how many bathroom passes they have left by the end of the semester. Llamas has noticed that sometimes students tend to ask to use the restroom at the beginning of class, right after lunch or right after arriving at school.

“You came from your house. You should have taken care of your business there. Where are your priorities?” Llamas said.

Senior Paridhy Mann disagrees with the extra credit bathroom policy system. She believes that this can negatively impact students who will force themselves to stay in class while needing to use the restroom because they want the extra credit, which causes these students to lose focus on the actual lesson.

“When you have to pee, you’re not thinking about derivatives, or whatever’s being taught. I’m thinking about peeing, but I don’t want to use the pass because I want that extra credit,” Mann said.

Llamas believes, however, that the extra credit is an easy way for students to improve their grade.

“Especially if they are tinkering and they need [those] extra credit points, it’s helpful,” Llamas said.

In addition to not being able to concentrate when they need to use the restroom, Mann believes that with longer block periods and increased technology use during class, students often need a quick break to regain their focus.

“If a student goes out and comes back in a little bit, they’re more likely to be more focused for the rest of the class. Students have to be in class for around seven hours a day staring at computer screens,” Mann said. “My migraines get bad from that, so I might take the pass out, go for a little walk to get my head to stop hurting so that I can actually focus.”


Math teacher Rupali Satija has also implemented bathroom pass policies this semester due to an increased number of students leaving her class for the halls. Satija has noticed that most of her students leave during independent work time rather than time when she is teaching.

“I’ve seen on the days my classes are fully busy that not many students will leave, but if I give them extra time to practice, students just keep leaving,” Satija said.

Mann believes that students should be able to leave class during asynchronous work time and thinks that bathroom passes should not be limited during that time.

“It’s effective because everyone I know can just go when they need to and they don’t miss anything important,” Mann said. “You just go and you’re responsible for making up your work, and maybe that’s a product of being a senior, so we are more self-driven and motivated and can handle ourselves better.”