When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. Except at a New Jersey middle school that locks up the restrooms during passing periods and limits students to 15 restroom passes per month. On other days, students can go during lunch or gym, if they have it, or not at all. There’s less vandalism in the restrooms — but students are avoiding fluids to save their passes for emergencies.
But some parents don’t buy any of the school’s arguments. They say students are pressed for time at lunch and usually feel the need to use the restroom later in the day, especially if they drank something with their meals. If students have gym at the beginning or end of the day, parents say it doesn’t help much. Gym is every other day and some students are enrolled in health instead.
At my large high school, most restrooms were locked all the time because the teachers didn’t want to be on anti-smoking patrol. We learned planning and self-control. But, at least, there were some restrooms open during passing periods.