Is Using the Bathroom a Privilege?


“May I go to the bathroom?” Let’s break that down. You are asking for permission to use the toilet. You are asking for permission to empty your bladder. Is using the bathroom a privilege? No it is a right.

Using the bathroom is something that everyone does, no matter their age, gender or race. It is a necessity. Without going to the bathroom you will die. It is extremely uncomfortable when a teacher requires that you ask him or her to go to the bathroom. Especially when your request to use the bathroom is declined. This may cause you to become distracted. You need to go, but you can’t. You can’t focus on what the teacher is saying because you can’t stop thinking about that feeling you have right now because you are holding in your bladder.

This is high school not elementary school. Most students at IHS have their license but still have to ask to go to the bathroom. Some students at Ipswich High are 18, which means they can enlist in the military but still must ask to go to the bathroom. High school should be a place where freedom and responsibility are encouraged not hindered. Having a young man or woman be required to ask to go to the bathroom hinders the encouragement of freedom and responsibility. In the real world do you need to ask your boss or supervisor to use the bathroom?

Not only is asking to go to the bathroom uncomfortable, but it is also a distraction. Imagine your female science teacher is in the middle of going over a question; the class is flowing, and everybody is following along and you have to go to the bathroom. Do you raise your hand and ask to go? Or do you wait until she is finished? You decide to raise your hand and ask to go. You are called on and ask to go the bathroom. She says no. Now the flow of the class is ruined. She has forgotten what she was saying; everybody is now distracted, but you are the most distracted. You have to go bad, but she doesn’t know how bad you have to go. Imagine if you could just get up and sign out? Would any of this had happen? No. The class would still be flowing, and there would be no distraction. You would be able to go to the bathroom and come back focused.

The Tiger Transcript recently met with Mr. Fitzgerald.  Mr. Fitz’s bathroom policy requires the student to, “ask permission to leave at an appropriate time and sign in and sign out.” What is an appropriate time to ask? When a student has to go to the bathroom they have to go, also you don’t know what the reason for going to the bathroom is. Mr. Fitz has been working at Ipswich High School for 15 years and has had this policy in place for as long as he can remember. When asked how many people he allows to go to the bathroom at a time and why, he said “1, to minimize students missing class time.” The Tiger Transcript also asked Mr. Fitzgerald why he has students ask to go to the bathroom; he said “because they need permission to leave the class.” The final question the Tiger Transcript had for Mr. Fitzgerald was if he thought raising your hand and asking to go to the bathroom is more of a distraction and interruption than a student getting out of their seat and getting up and signing out without an interruption; his response was “not necessarily.”

The Tiger Transcript also recently met with the superintendent of Ipswich Public Schools Dr. Hart. He told the Tiger Transcript that his ideal bathroom policy would be for students to get up out of their seat on their own and sign out. He talked about how in a work place setting you are not required to ask your boss to go to the bathroom, and he believes high school should be the same way.

The last person the Tiger Transcript met with was Ipswich High School student Peter Pappas. Peter is currently in his senior year of high school; he’s an athlete, and he also contributes to his community through his churchs’ GOYA program. The Tiget Transcript also asked Peter what his ideal bathroom policy would be, and he said, “to be able to go whenever I need to; I don’t mind signing in and out, but I just want to be able to go when I need to go.” It seems like most people have a very similar ideal bathroom policy.