Middle School Students Must Earn Bathroom Passes

Normally, when you have to go, you have to go. How about when you have to go, you have to earn it? That’s the case in Texas. Sarah Moreno, a Houston mom of two boys, says her children must earn coupons to use the bathroom. The children, who are in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, told their mother they earn the coupons for good behavior, ABC 13 reports.

“I don’t want my child to have to stand up and say, ‘hey I don’t have my coupons Ms. Teacher. I still need to got to the bathroom,'” Moreno tells ABC 13. “Why should he have to announce that he has to go?”

And, what is considered good behavior? I imagine each teacher’s values are different.

Moreno says the issue began when her boys were in elementary school in the district and continued when they enrolled in Aragon Middle School. However, various parents and guardians say this was their first time hearing about it. One grandmother says she asked her grandson about the passes, who says he receives them in one class.

Another parent from a different middle school in the district says her daughter gets three pit stop passes every six weeks. However, they are automatically given.

A spokesperson from the district explains the children do not necessarily earn the passes, but teachers are trying to teach students about time management and planning their days accordingly.

“We should all just have the right to go to the bathroom, period, because we’re alive on Earth,” Moreno tells ABC 13.

I know that in some cases, when a child asks to use the bathroom in school, he probably is not going to just the bathroom. If he runs into a classmate, he might stop and talk on the way there. Or the may ask for a pass to go somewhere else besides the bathroom.

“Students make requests frequently to use the restroom when they really have intentions to do other things,” says Peter Reed, an associate director of professional development services at the National Association of Secondary School Principles, tells USA Today.

I will admit that I have done that a few times. I asked for a bathroom pass to get a book I left in the library. Perhaps we’ve all done it at one time in our lives.

My school district put passes in the back of the planners. There were at least 20 to 30 passes for the whole year that the teacher signed. If you used them all, you were done until the next time school started.

There is nothing wrong with teaching children about management and being responsible. But should bathroom passes be given based on behavior? Moreno makes a point that children cannot simply hold it. There are times where if you don’t go, you’re bound to have an embarrassing accident.

USA Today reports that a sixth grader peed his pants after a teacher refused him a pass to the bathroom.

The district says, according to ABC 13, “The restroom/drink of water coupon is simply one of many incentives created by classroom teachers to motivate and encourage students to maximize their instructional time.”

That may be true but what if a child really does have to use the bathroom and the teacher refuses it because he or she does not have a pass? Is that even possible?

These teachers should continue to remind students the importance of staying attentive in class and not abuse their rights. However they should find a better approach to the lesson besides limiting the times a child can use the restroom.

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