Need the Bathroom? Too Many Times and it’s Detention

In an attempt to curb class-skipping, an Illinois school has taken the maverick approach of dishing out detentions to students who take too many bathroom breaks.

Skipping off to the toilet is a common tactic to dip out of boring lessons — it’s a ploy used by high school students everywhere. But no longer at one Illinois high school, where too many bathroom breaks can equal detention after school, writes Alexis Stevens at AJC.

Bill Sanderson, principal at Evergreen Park High School, said the policy means students won’t miss valuable class time, and won’t use the restroom as a reason to skip class. Students at the suburban Chicago school are penalized if they take more than three bathroom trips in one class per semester, writes Steve Metsch at the Chicago-Sun Times.

Evergreen Park High is on a block schedule, with each school day having four classes that meet for 83 minutes, Sanderson said. During classes, the only washrooms that are open are near the main office on the first floor because of security, he said:

“Students are never told they can’t use a washroom and can do so as often as they need to, provided they realize that the extra visits will have them staying later. Some teachers have asked how do we stop kids from going to the bathroom to get out of class, how do we make them accountable?”

But some parents aren’t happy with the policy, citing health concerns with “holding it,” according to the report. Underlying health conditions, such as a urinary tract infection, can increase a student’s need to use the restroom, parent Linda Gigliello told the Sun-Times.

“It’s not only that they have to make up the time. It takes up time after school when they may be in a club or have a team practice or catch a bus,” Gigliello said.

Urologist Dr. David Zumerchik said it’s “tough to have a kid hold it if there’s an underlying urinary problem.”

But it is not believed “holding it” will cause any serious health problems.

Zumerchik said it’s unlikely for someone with a history of urinary tract infections to be prone to more infections if they frequently have to delay urinating.

While he called the Evergreen Park High policy “silly,” he does understand it is designed to allow students to recover class time they may miss.


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