Should Students Have to Ask to Use the Restroom at School?



An image of Elementary school bathroom passes, a representation of the oral permission that high school students need to obtain to use the restroom.

Madison Austin, Editor

One day, in early October, it was ninety-eight degrees in Yorba Linda, and there was but one way to cool down–drinking lots and lots of water. In fact, that day, a record number of reusable hydro flasks were filled up with the school water station. In addition, ASB was selling pink lemonade in honor of breast cancer awareness month. With those factors combined, everyone was heavily hydrated and kept drinking and drinking. 

The effects of that comfination presented themselves about fifteen minutes into my third period class, when a shockingly high number of students requested to use the restroom. At first, my teacher did not mind, as only two or three students asked to leave class to use the bathroom; however, as time progressed, more and more students begged to use the restroom. By the time the seventh person asked, my teacher decided that too many students had left class, and he announced that no other students would be allowed to leave the classroom to use the restroom for the rest of the period. 

That situation got me thinking. As someone who has received a public education from the past 13 years, I have experienced several different policies regarding bathroom usage during class time. I’ve had teachers with relaxed ideas such as “leave the classroom when you need to, but don’t be a distraction.” On the other hand, I’ve had teachers who take points away from class participation if you ask to use the bathroom. 

Students at Yorba Linda High School are extremely opposed to such strict bathroom policies. Zander Ngo (12) finds the overbearing restroom rules for his classes to be “burdensome and extremely pointless.” He then continued by recalling that “bathrooms are [his] safe space” and he is frustrated by his inability to leave many of his classes to go.

Bathrooms are my safe space

— Zander Ngo

Many students at Yorba Linda High School are over the age of 18, and therefore are considered to be legal adults. It seems rather childish to require adult students to ask permission to do as basic of a human function as using the restroom. There are many accessible bathrooms at Yorba Linda High School, and bathroom breaks often take as little time as 2 minutes. 

While there are some students who would abuse this privilege and take long bathroom breaks and not actually use the restroom, the majority of students are well-meaning kids who simply need to use the restroom. Hopefully, strict bathroom policy teachers change their minds and allow students the right to go.