High School Students Should Not Have to Ask Permission to Use the Bathroom

Alexis Leonard and Christine Vo

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by: Alexis Leonard

High schools expect their students to act like young adults and fulfill young adult responsibilities, yet they prohibit them from going to the bathroom without asking for permission. If high school is supposed to prepare teenagers for the world outside of school, doesn’t asking for permission to use the bathroom contradict the aforementioned purpose?

Basic high school expectations include completing assignments and taking responsibility for one’s actions – which is an act that adults do, though adults in the workplace aren’t required to ask their superiors to use the bathroom. Students in high school are more than capable of using the bathroom and shouldn’t have to ask permission to perform this basic necessity.
As a student, it is fair to expect that my teachers trust me enough to go to the bathroom during class when it is an emergency, but unfortunately this is not the case. In my experience, teachers have explained that getting up out of my seat to go to the bathroom in the middle of class is disruptive.

However, it is more disruptive to ask the teacher during a lesson to leave. Not only does allowing the student to go to the bathroom without asking benefit the student and teacher, it also benefits the whole class because they are able to continue focusing on the class discussion without interruption. The teacher benefits because they can continue teaching, and the student can use the restroom and come back ready to focus. When a student is forced to “hold it” in class, that student can’t give all their attention to the lesson and learn.

Although students shouldn’t need permission to use the bathroom, it is understandable why teachers are reluctant to give students 100% access to the bathroom. For teachers it is important to be aware of where your students are and to keep them from roaming the halls. A solution that would please both sides would include a chart where students can sign in and sign out when they go to the bathroom. Additionally, a teacher can create a rule where only one or two students may go to the bathroom at once so that groups of students aren’t roaming the halls during class.

Establishing a plan such as this one would allow students to use the bathroom without asking for permission, and it would reassure teachers that their students are either in class or in the bathroom in times of emergency.


by: Christine Vo

Imagine taking a test when all of a sudden you really need to use the bathroom. You look up at the wall, but see no bathroom pass. Twenty-minutes pass and your peer has not yet returned. You try to hold it in. Then, when you are on the brink of peeing yourself, the bathroom pass finally returns. You rush to grab the pass only to have the bell ring to end class.

By not asking for permission to use the bathroom, students take the pass to their advantage and miss class hindering their peers to have the same privilege. As students, education should be the main priority. Paint Branch is a school that encourages both fun and academics, however, students can take their privileges for granted. Whether it be lunch or bathroom privileges, students are capable of using those privileges to distract their peers and/or themselves from the educational rights they deserve. Since elementary school, students raise their hands and ask their teacher for permission to use the bathroom. This rule was implemented to ensure that teachers know where students are at all times and to limit the bathroom use of students who abuse their privilege to skip class or wander the halls.

Students who have open access to the bathroom essentially have open access to roam the hallways, distract other classes, and prevent their peers from using the bathroom. Many teachers have become lenient in regard to letting students take the bathroom pass without having to ask for their consent. This is why students are seen walking around the hallways looking lost. The security guards don’t ask them where they are going because they have a pass, which encourages them to believe that they can get away with missing out on important class work. Additionally, their time roaming the hallways takes away the bathroom privilege of their peers who wait patiently in class for the bathroom pass to return.

With the five minute time interval to get to their next class, students don’t have much time to use the bathroom, especially when they go from the first floor to the third floor. Students should ask their teachers to use the bathroom when the time permits and return back to class within a reasonable time. This is to guarantee all students the privilege to use the bathroom and to keep students safe.

People may argue that bathroom use is a right and not a privilege, but this “right” can be taken away if students are not doing what they are supposed to be doing. Manipulating the use of the bathroom, which has been long seen before, define this issue as a privilege. Ultimately, students should be required to ask permission for bathroom use as its a systematic rule that secures the classroom and insures that schools run in an orderly fashion.

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High School Students Should Not Have to Ask Permission to Use the Bathroom