The Spanish Department Institutes a New Bathroom Policy


Lauren Adams

Student in Spanish class using the sign out sheet in order to leave for the bathroom.

At the start of the second semester, Spanish teachers Profe Paulson and Profe Murray introduced a new bathroom policy into their world language classrooms in order to minimize wasted class time and misuse of hall passes.

As of now, this policy is just used by these two teachers. Many students around the school are not even aware of what the rule consists of. “There is a sign in/out sheet for the use of the bathroom hanging in mine and señora Murray’s classroom. Students have to sign in and out when they are leaving for the baño (bathroom), and may only take five minutes to use the restroom before returning to class. Once students use the restroom once in the class, then they have used their time for the week. Students may use the pass during work time in the classroom, but not in the first fifteen minutes of class, the last fifteen minutes of class, during notes or tests, or when someone else is using the pass,” Paulson said.

Initially, this policy came into place as teachers were noticing problems with students abusing their freedom with the hall passes. “I was seeing a lot of people coming back when they say they go to the bathroom, they’re coming back with food. They were spending eight, ten, twelve minutes in the bathroom when they were walking around. They weren’t leaving their phones. It became an issue,” Murray said.

I think that it’s definitely important to try out and see how it works, but maybe not to the extent that it is like maybe a little less strict and regulated,”

— Beth Heymans

Since the start of the semester, classes have tested out this policy. Teachers feel that the policy is helping the entire class environment and many students think so as well but could use slight tweaks to meet in the middle. Senior Beth Heymans sees reason to the policy yet thinks it can be taken down a notch. “I think that it’s definitely important to try out and see how it works, but maybe not to the extent that it is like maybe a little less strict and regulated,” Heymans said.

The main concern amongst the student body would be the inability to leave in the first and last 15 minutes of class. This rule limits the amount of freedom students have with classroom passes and although students understand the need for this, they would appreciate it if teachers were more lenient in certain circumstances. “If [a student] needs to go to the bathroom at the beginning of their end of class, I feel like they should also be allowed to do that. I think just giving it a little bit more leeway would help it a lot more,” junior Gus Bell said.

Vaping and inappropriate activity in the bathrooms have grown to be concerns unfortunately. Students are growing and developing teenagers, and teachers simply just want the best for their personal health. “We’re just trying to make sure that BSM is a safe environment for everybody,” Murray said.

Other students have strong opinions about how this new policy should not be in place. Senior Carsen Brandt expresses how the stern treatment feels unnecessary and as a senior in highschool, would enjoy more flexibility.“It’s almost like a prison in some ways, not like not letting kids go to the bathroom and not having the freedom to use the restroom,” senior Carsen Brandt said.

Inconsistency between the classrooms at BSM can be a cause for some of the frustration students feel. When one teacher allows bathroom passes at any time and another has strict restrictions, it’s understandable that irritation and confusion can arise in students. “I do wish there was more consistency between teachers – we as a school have the rule of one student at a time, but there are still discrepancies within that and how other teachers modify that in their classrooms. More consistency for all teachers would help streamline efficiency for all students,” Paulson said.

Teachers are cracking down and showing the students that their actions and poor choices with hall passes result in consequences. Though this rule is in place as of now, there is room for improvement as well as small changes throughout the year. Teachers are willing to meet students in the middle, and are overall looking to make BSM a safer environment with limited wasted class time.