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Illinois School Curbs Potty Breaks

restroom sign

Truancy and absences can erode student learning. But bathroom breaks?

Borrowing a page from “Urinetown,” that saucy staple of high school musical comedy, administrators at Evergreen Park High School in Illinois recently instituted a new policy to curb excessive trips to the washroom that take away from valuable class time. From now on, the Chicago Sun-Times reports, students had better have strong bladders or they’ll stay after school.

The policy, in effect for some classes and at the discretion of each teacher, limits students to three bathroom passes during class per semester without penalty. After that, they must remain after school and make up any missed class time.

Principal Bill Sanderson said the policy ensures that students won’t miss valuable class time while preventing washroom visits as an excuse to skip class. Some local parents, however, are worried about their children’s well-being if compelled to “hold it” to avoid the extra class time.

“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,” said Linda Gigliello, whose freshman daughter is in the drama club and has suffered from urinary tract infections.

A local urologist called the policy “silly” and advised students to go when they felt the urge and make up the time later. Some may want to consult the script of  “Urinetown” to see whether pay-to-pee laws outlasted a desperate public.

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