In thousands of schools across the United States, the sad reality is that kids are constantly being denied their access to a restroom during class. Teachers believe students have enough time during break, lunch, or passing periods to use the restroom but all of us know that’s definitely not the case. The lines are literally longer than a football field during break and lunch, and a passing period is only 3-5 minutes on average. Teachers have also added onto this burden by creating a hall pass/extra credit system. At my school, our hall passes or bathroom passes as many people call it, are worth extra credit points and if we use one, we’re cutting into our extra credit, which makes it self-explanatory that our grade won’t be as high. Teenage girls also have their own feminine care issues that need to be dealt with and SHOULD be dealt with without cutting away from their extra credit and causing bacterial or other health issues.
Doctors have done extensive research in explaining why “holding it” can cause bacterial issues which can lead to severe consequences such as bladder problems and issues with the kidney. Dr. Chamandeep Bali, a naturopathic doctor at the Toronto Naturopathic Health Clinic, says that “The longer you hold your urine, the bladder can become a breeding ground for bacteria to grow,” Dr. Bali says. This bacteria can lead to infections, which can spread to kidneys and cause greater damage to the body. I know for SURE that all of our parents or parents reading this article would be furious to know that their child’s denied request to use the restroom has the possibility of resulting in something much more severe.
During the school year, extra credit is REALLY valuable to students, and I mean REALLY valuable. Teachers don’t encourage extra credit through learning but rather through denying us a right that everyone is born with. When the end of the semester, trimester, quarter etc. Comes around, that extra credit really comes in handy when you have a borderline grade. This forces students to “hold it in” and become distracted during class as they can’t focus on what’s being “taught” by the teacher. It’s simple — distraction causes falling grades– and we can easily prevent falling grades by ALLOWING STUDENTS TO USE THE RESTROOM.
Parents and students need to know that they can ALWAYS take this issue up with their schools and their districts in order to prevent teachers from saying no to your child to use the restroom.