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Managing Bathroom Break Requests

Found in: Hall Passes, Routines & Procedures, Bathroom Breaks

I have taught for 34 years, grades 6-12, and I’ve used the same guideline without incident for all 34 years. Students are allowed to use the restroom three times a semester. I write the dates in my grade book but usually they know how many times they have gone and tell me.

When students ask at an inappropriate time, such as while I’m teaching, I tell them to go sit down and cross their legs and think about how good it will feel once they get to go. Usually, the students roll their eyes or whine and then sit down. If students have used their three times and I can tell the student really needs to go I give him or her what I call an emergency pass.

Students always accept this restroom pass rule at the beginning of the year and sometimes I’ll tell them that there are still six weeks before the semester ends so they need to think about how badly they need to go. Many students never use their passes at all. I accept doctors’ or parents’ notes, of course, if the student has a medical problem, but even those students rarely use all three of their passes.


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