The Privilege to Pee

The Privilege to Pee

Alicia Burrows, Editor

High Schools everywhere have pass systems. There’s nothing wrong with that. Of course the only reasonable way to manage students is to confine their abilities to freely go to the bathroom.  However, Nashoba Administration has taken this conformity to the next level. Back in December, a number of constrictions were added to the established pass rules. They are as follows:

  • Locker passes are only allowed during the first ten minutes of class
  • One cannot leave the room during the last ten minutes of class
  • Students cannot leave the room during the last 20 minutes of the school day unless they have a predetermined reason
  • Only one student can leave class at a time

According to Dr. Graham, having students outside of the classroom was becoming quite disruptive. Clearly, more than one student per class walking through Nashoba’s halls is a distraction to everyone and very likely to cause trouble. Most students over the age of 16 in Nashoba are able to operate a car, but they can’t walk through the halls without permission. Most of the Senior class are adults by the time they graduate, but they can’t make the decision to get up and leave the classroom alone.

Not only are student’s privileges to leave the room restrained, but there are certain times of the day where they can’t even leave the room. What if a student needs to go to the bathroom at 2:05… Is the teacher just not supposed to let him go for fifteen minutes? If this student has to take the bus home, he could not have another opportunity to use the restroom until 3:00. An hour is a long time to hold it. What if a student realizes at 2:15 that she left a book in her locker that she needs for homework? She could not have time to make it to her locker and back to the bus in time after class, which could either result in her having no way to get home or an inability to do her homework.

Many students are strongly against the new rules. Particularly, Jackie Cannon feels very strongly about the pass system: “I understand why there needs to be a strict pass system in place, but I really have a hard time with the limitations on when students can go to the bathroom. I really can’t control when that needs to happen. And in terms of not being able to leave a class during the last 20 minutes, it’s really rough to sit in class for that amount of time desperately needing the bathroom, and it’s a hindrance that takes away from my ability to learn and participate. I always follow the rules about passes, and this rule for the few who don’t obey shouldn’t disrupt the hundreds who do.”

Jackie makes a good point that just because some students may leave the class to “go to the bathroom” and then leave the school completely somewhere between 2:00 and 2:19, doesn’t mean that everyone does. The rest of Nashoba’s population shouldn’t be prevented from using the bathroom during the last 20 minutes of the day just because of a few students’ faults. As Jackie makes clear, 20 minutes is a long time to hold it.

But it’s not only the right to pee that is a problem; there are other issues that can result from not being able to use the bathroom as well. The female population at times doesn’t have the ability to wait to use the bathroom, or else crisis and embarrassment may occur. There are other, more dire reasons that women have to use the bathroom other than needing to pee, and having to wait 20 minutes to handle such an emergency is straight-up cruel.

But most importantly, peeing shouldn’t be a privilege; it should be a right. Although it isn’t clearly stated in the Constitution, using the bathroom is a freedom that should be granted to everyone. Our Founding Fathers would probably be pretty disappointed to know that Nashoba isn’t granting the freedom of urination to its students. Maybe it’s time for a 28th amendment to the Constitution.

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