Change.org Petition: Using the Bathroom Is Your Right, Not a Privilege!
Recent heat waves in California have been announced and many officials report that drinking water seems like a wise choice. Being at school in this heat getting from class to class makes you thirsty, but you remember you only have one pass left to use the restroom in your next class.
Deciding to skip the water break, you have a higher risk of dehydration and heat-related illnesses, including cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. To stay hydrated in the heat or when exercising, teens need to drink about 34–50 ounces per hour, according to the CDC. A regular class period is 1.35 hours. The time frame from the start of the school day to lunch is 3 hours. From 6th period to after school, the time frame is 2.7 hours.
Waiting until lunch or after school, however also comes with underlying issues with everyone waiting to use the restroom at these times; lines become overwhelmingly long. After school, the restrooms are often closed. Many students have to wait until they get home to finally use the restroom, with students who either get picked up or walk home forced to wait. Teachers prefer when we use the restroom during these times.
“Students should go on their own time, be responsible, but I know that the restrooms are closed during passing period so that’s hard,” said Maria Rosales, ASB Advisor and ELD teacher.
In order to have some extra credit points to pass a class with these rules, you can also hold it in and decide to risk obtaining infections or constipation.You then decide the best option is to win a restroom pass and obtain the privilege of using the restroom during class.
“I think to go to the restroom there is no say of when you should or shouldn’t go,” said Louie Villanueva, Campus Aid.
The restroom rules vary for each class. Some teachers have a limited amount of restroom passes for students to use during the semester, with the incentive of earning some extra credit if they do not use the pass. In other classes, it is possible to “win” restroom passes when teachers announce they will give a pass to whoever answers the question.
The rules are usually different for all classes and there is no consistency on campus.
Using the restroom seems to be an issue for teachers due to ditching and/or missing out on lessons. In some cases, using the restroom may lead to illegal activity such as drug use or fighting.
“Some students take advantage of the pass… leaving other students without being able to use the restroom,” said Salvador Contreras, Science teacher.
However, other teachers are “okay” with restroom use and have few rules set such as “don’t take all period” or “stay after school to make it up.”
LAUSDs’ restroom policy does not state anything specific regarding teachers and the rights they hold over controlling restroom use. However, it does state many other requirements such as, “Information concerning the availability of restrooms must be shared with the student body, faculty, and parents at each school,” (2: Availability of Restrooms).
Rules at HP include the “10-minute” rule which means that no one can leave the first or last ten minutes of class. Restrooms are closed during the passing period and in an emergency, the only restroom available is at the nurse’s office. There are many issues surrounding the use of restrooms at school, some controversial and others striking.
“I think the whole school should just have one rule and have no limit to restroom use,” stated Junior, Yul Viera.
Huntington Park Senior High should have a school-wide bathroom use that is not only to limit restroom use. Using the restroom is a natural thing and should not be considered a privilege. If using the restroom were a privilege, California would not have the number of required restrooms dictated by the California Plumbing Code, Table 2902.1.
Written By: Carolina Lopez, Editorials Editor