When I found out my daughter's teacher was a big proponent of the water bottle on the desk, I was ready to get down and kiss her feet. Keep kids drinking water, and you're helping them win the fight against childhood obesity. Which is why I'm glad my kid doesn't go to the Chicago-area school that has banned the bathroom breaks that inevitably come from guzzling H2O.
The principal at Evergreen Park High School has instituted a three potty breaks per semester rule for his school. It's a school, mind you, where kids spend 83 minutes in each class on a block schedule. It's a school where either the administrator is ridiculous or the teachers have no clue how to manage a classroom.
Tell a kid they can only use the bathroom three times over a course of months, and you're pretty much eliminating the chance that they'll stick to the healthy water drinking. Instead they'll hit the cafeteria at lunchtime with empty stomachs and gobble down the drek that you find in a typical school lunchroom. Way to go!
And let's say the kids do have to go to the bathroom? Holding your urine on a regular basis has been shown to cause urinary incontinence. According to the National Institutes of Health, kids who hold their urine for long periods of time are more prone to urinary tract infections which -- here's an irony for you -- will actually require them to use the bathroom MORE frequently.
Of course the principal at Evergreen Park says kids are using the bathroom as an excuse to get out of class, and they're missing out on valuable learning time. He's absolutely right. Some teenagers would love nothing more than an excuse to get out of a classroom. So maybe the principal and the school's teachers need a refresher course in how to manage a classroom?
This isn't rocket science. If my 6-year-old's teacher can manage 20 first-graders with tiny bladders and short attention spans drinking all day, I think some high school teachers can handle it. See a kid who is always demanding a bathroom pass, and you pull them aside and say they need a doctor's note proving they have a condition that requires excessive urination or they're going to sit their hiney back in that seat. Set limits on how long they can spend outside of the classroom, and follow through on threats of detention if they don't return from the potty in a set amount of time (isn't that what they always tell us as parents?).
Discipline the kids, don't take a hit at their health!
Would you support a bathroom ban at your kid's school?
Image via james.gordon1608/Flickr