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Elementary Teacher Restricts Student Bathroom Visits

Elementary Teacher Restricts Student Bathroom Visits

Does your child suddenly need a drink of water the minute you turn the lights out at night? Does the need to go to the bathroom strike always and mysteriously while she's doing her homework?

Stephanie Warner, a Brooklyn elementary school teacher who was fed up with frequent disruptions in her fifth grade classroom imposed some drastic bathroom rules earlier this month. Parents of her students were shocked to hear that their kids would be limited to just three bathroom visits a week.

Not only that, but kids who didn't use all of their passes would be rewarded and those who misplaced or "broke" their passes would be denied new ones.


Read the whole story (New York Post)

Do you think restricting bathroom breaks will help kids stay focused on learning?

Image Source: via NYPost

NinaHarris69322 NinaHarris69322 5 years
Unfortunately, many of our children are smarted then we were when it comes to getting out of work. I understand what the teacher is trying to do. But by looking at the responses many do not understand the basic procedures for elementary students. She is not stopping them from using the restroom, only creating a system of accountablity for their behavior. I sure the passes are for additional restroom breaks, which too many students will try to take to distrupt the class and get out of work. Not only that with today's students unsupervised time must be limited to maintain control and to aviod allowing students time to create unspeakable situations when they should be in class.
KristinWills KristinWills 5 years
The teacher gives them three decent times to go to the bathroom. As a teacher I see nothing wrong with this with the exception of kids with medical needs. I don't necessarily agree with giving prizes. My students always ask to go right before I am explain the activities they are doing. I ask them to wait a few minutes and they are fine with it. Bathroom breaks are often used to avoid things like work.
BonnieBenoit BonnieBenoit 5 years
I do NOT agree with this. If my daughter's teacher did this, I would be down at the school right away if my daughter's teacher pulled this crap. I can see if the child is constantly asking to use the bathroom to get out of class, but come on already!! What if the child has diarrhea and has to go, what if a girl needs to go because of her period (yes, 5th graders get their periods)?? I do not think that the teacher should be pulling this.
RebeccaGoff71085 RebeccaGoff71085 5 years
Can't say that i blame this poor teacher! Speaking from tend to come to school not knowing how to go to the bathroom without plsying around in there. This disrupts a lot of precious learning time if you do not set limits. Good for her.
LoriCaswell16206 LoriCaswell16206 5 years
I am a 5th grade teacher and I don't think it is a big deal that she did this. Most students are fine waiting until it is time for a restroom break. I give one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I rarely have students needing extra breaks. Usually the ones who need to go just want to get out of the room or they don't pay attention and go when they are suppose to. I let them go unless I see a pattern of a student going just to goof off. I really don't have a problem with excessive breaks.
KymSoderholm KymSoderholm 5 years
My student is younger than these, but he has medical issues and has to go when he needs to. As for going at lunch, they get 25 minutes for that, I eat with them 2day/week. I'm eating as fast as I can and still don't finish eating... Let alone to go to the restroom. And recess is much needed to cut loose that built up ener gy. They've shortened the day to cut teacher and other hourly pay, but at what price.
AmandaSummers AmandaSummers 5 years
Idk... my son was recently denied access to the bathroom during recess... he wet his pants and was humiliated in front of his peers as a result. If teachers expect students to use bathrooms during recess, then they should not deny access to the restroom during said recess. I am furious about the incident by the way and if it happens again I will be calling the Principal instead of the VP next time!
JennBontrager JennBontrager 5 years
While I do think this can be a little extreme. I tend to side with the teacher. I was once a teacher myself and know how frustrating it can be to have students constantly wanting to leave to use the restroom. It disrupts lessons and often they are only wanting to get out of class for a moment. I understand that there are emergencies but if they are going at lunch and recess then emergencies should be at a minimum.When I taught I also had scheduled bathroom breaktimes during the day.
MichelleSeavey MichelleSeavey 5 years
If you've read the complete article, it states that the teacher expects the children to use the bathroom before class in the morning, recess, lunchtime, and other designated breaks. The three passes are for additional emergencies. Given that there are generally less than two hours between any given break, it's not a terrible expectation. These are 10 and 11 year old who are smart enough to take advantage of the bathroom situation and probably did to make the teacher plan these changes. Expecting children to follow rules and take responsibility to their behavior/bodies is a part of becoming a responsible adult. Besides, when do you think the teacher uses the bathroom? Often teacher supervise recess duty in addition to being in the classroom the whole time students are in there! Believe me, the teacher "holds it" on a daily basis!!
ChristinaGomez84367 ChristinaGomez84367 5 years
I don't think there should be a reward/punishment system in place, and holding it is definitely not good. At the same time, there are kids who will abuse the privilege if given the chance. In that position, I would say once every 2 hours (if I kept the same class all day long) or once per class period (if the kids changed classes throughout the day). There wouldn't be a reward or punishment, but I wouldn't allow them to just go and go and go, or go and stay gone for 3/4 of the class period either. The point of school is to teach them, and if the kids aren't in class, how can they learn.
JeriKeating JeriKeating 5 years
LET MY CHILD GO....When you've got to go...then you should be allowed to go! Some of the teachers at my daughter's school limit bathroom breaks as well, rewarding if you don't use your passes. My daughter was holding it and having issues because of it...I started telling her I would reward her if she did use her passes so she wouldn't miss out on the reward part but would use the bathroom when she got the urge. Definitely doesn't help with learning...teacher's need to back off on this matter unless it is obvious a specific child is only using the need to go as an excuse to get out of class...then it's time to look to the parents/counsellor for the reason.
JessicaSawa JessicaSawa 5 years
anyone who tells a child no they cannot go to the bathroom should be made to hold theirs for DAYS. it is not good for you to hold it. MEDICALLY not good for you to hold it. I don't care if you think they are trying to get out of things or not this is pure ignorance, grade 2 or 12 doesnt matter it is NOT their responsibility, if it becomes a problem you call the PARENT and have a parent teacher conf you do NOT tell that child they cannot go to the bathroom EVER. if it was my kid and a teacher banned bathroom breaks like this I would have a dr's note in there so quickly to be sent to the nurse to pee WHENEVER she asked whether the teacher liked it or not.... I had one for myself actually when I was younger because of some medical issue I was having I couldn't "hold it" oh this teacher needs SLAPPED!
MistyColeman18003 MistyColeman18003 5 years
I'd have a serious problem with that! When I was a child I had issue because I had bladder surgery so every school year my teachers had a note to let me use the bathroom when I needed to. For the person that said kids hold it longer while playing games, just because they can doesn't mean they should. Holding onto a full bladder increases the risk of infections and can cause problems later in life!
AntoinetteLewisClarke AntoinetteLewisClarke 5 years
Seems like it would make more sense to make everyone go regularly whether they want to or not rather than say they can't go. Like at every subject change or something, so that they can take a micro break, get a drink of water, go to the loo & get the brain/blood pumping again. That way if they try to say they need to go in between these times you know they're either trying to get out of something or may have a problem.
GaleEstell GaleEstell 5 years
I think I grade five that is fine, but grade 2 is wrong, my nephew grad teach said they couldn't have any bath room breaks, bathroom for lunch and recess, they're still babies! Their bodies still growing in that area, my nephew every day for 4 month cae home with shitted pant. How would you feel if that was your child I was livid when I heard about that teacher, grad 2!
ReneeOugh ReneeOugh 5 years
My son who is a freshman began having medical issues causing diarrhea and stomach cramping. During the course of time in which his doctor was running all kinds of tests trying to find out what was wrong. We alerted the high school principal that when he had to go he had to go. One day he came home and told my husband one of his teachers wouldn't let him go. He was livid. He contacted the principal and told him that better not happen again. The principal said he would send out another email to the teachers. We told our son that if his teacher refuses to let him go again he was to gather his things quietly, go to the bathroom, then go to the principal's office and tell him what happened. He stated a boy did that once and security handcuffed him and took him back to class without letting him go to the bathroom. That prompted us to write a letter to the principal advising him that that had better not happen to our son. Since then he's been diagnosed with crohns and we haven't had a problem with any of the teachers. Education is important but when kids have to go they should be able to go.
KristenDawson52766 KristenDawson52766 5 years
3 times a week is completely reasonable for most 10-11 year old kids to use the bathroom on an emergency basis. Guess how many times per week that teacher gets to leave class to use the restroom... 0!!! Most schools have policies such as this. As a High school teacher, I allowed my students 3 bathroom passes per 9 week term, and I think my own middle school children get 5 per 9 weeks! Of course there would be exceptions for students with a documented medical problem. But, anyone who works with kids for long realizes that the majority of requests to use the restroom. are just made to get out of whatever the kids are supposed to be doing.
AmandaBennett76795 AmandaBennett76795 5 years
Restricting bathroom use is necessary in all grade levels. As a former high school teacher, I had to put a limit on the number of times a student could go to the bathroom during class as well as how often students could leave my classroom for anything else. As parents (and teachers) we all know that children always 'need' to do things when there are other things they should be doing. Kudos to this teacher and all of the other teachers who want children to get an education at school instead of learning that the bathroom is a revolving door.
LauraKinsella9384 LauraKinsella9384 5 years
Well i think thats stupid. If my child was in her class we would a major problem as my daughter has weak pelvic musles and if not allowed to go to the toilet straight away when she needs she would wet her pants. (she is in year 6) there is nothing the doctors can do to help and it would be distressing for her because she would get teased. I think that's unfair.
AmyTimofeeff AmyTimofeeff 5 years
Tarina and Kelly are right. The article is intentionally inflammatory and makes it sound like the rule is 3 times a week total. It's not. Go all of the other times a day that aren't direct instruction and there are still 3 options for "need to go now."
JennaKing26603 JennaKing26603 5 years
I think restricting bathroom use is actually pretty common in elementary classrooms. When I was a teacher, somebody, and during that time they never caught the perpetrator, would go into the bathrooms and smear poop all over the walls so the whole school was put on severe bathroom restrictions. The kids could ONLY use the bathrooms at recess and the aid stood outside the bathrooms and shouted in if a kid seemed to be taking too long. It was a problem and that was our school's approach to dealing with the problem. I don't think that this teacher went too far. I think she was trying to teach the kids some control and some manners. I was always taught to use the restroom between classes or during recess and break times. In junior high and high school it was not unusual for a teacher to deny a request to use the bathroom--that's what the 7 minute break period between classes was for. This is just preparing the kids for middle school and high school. Or has our world changed so much in 15 years that kids rule the roost instead of adults?
TarinaJameson TarinaJameson 5 years
Guys, think before you flame this woman. Figure the average 5th grade class now has 30 kids. That is 30 interruptions during a what, 6 hour day? These kids are in 5th grade, that's right they are 10-11. Obviously anyone with a medical reason would be exempt from it, but those people are also not the ones using it to go play in the hall and just get out of class. You guys expect teachers to educate your kids, they need to be able to do it in a reasonable manner without constant interruption. We were kids once. I remember a game with my friends where we would go to the bathroom one after another all afternoon JUST to frustrate our teacher. Kids are the same today. Relax. Teach your kids to respect their teachers, and any bathroom regulation shouldn't impact them in the least.
KellyORourke KellyORourke 5 years
These kids are in the 5th grade so that makes them what? 10 or 11? Surely they should be able to go during lunch time or recess and the 2 hrs they are in class most of them should be fine. If they have a medical reason, I'm sure they'd be able to get an exemption.This is not saying they are only allowed to go 3 times a week, it's saying that they're only allowed ot leave CLASS to go 3 times a week.
MichelleMaestas MichelleMaestas 5 years
3 times a week?! Time to fire this lady!
MichelleCarlsonGietzen MichelleCarlsonGietzen 5 years
The school my kids go to do not limit breaks, however they do expect the kids to just get up and sign out and not interrupt the teacher....sounds to me like this is a GRUMPY teacher and maybe should re think her profession!
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