unlocking of the bathrooms at Kiama High School
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Due to a minority of students disrespecting the bathroom facilities we have here at Kiama High School, a small amount of head teachers at our school have implemented a rule that prevents all students from accessing the bathrooms. The head teachers say you must go up to the office to get a key, unlock the toilets, do our business, take the key back up and return to class, but this is not the case. This takes time out of our lesson and essentially affects our education. The head teachers also object that it does not take more time to collect the key from the office and bring it back afterwards, than just going to the toilet. The bathrooms have been locked during lunch and recess many times, and has been going on for months. We get that the toilets were locked for a reason but do not punish the student body for someone else's stupidity.
Here is an open letter written by a student, who wishes to be kept anonymous.
To whoever is responsible for the locking of our toilets,
This has gone on far too long and I’m sure the office ladies would agree.I couldn’t imagine how frustrating it must be to have to get up and give a key to every student that needs access to a basic facility.
Have you considered that it actually takes far more time out of class for students to get a pass, walk up to the front office, collect a key, unlock the toilet, do their business, lock the toilet, return the key and get back to class than it would to just let a student quickly use the bathroom?
Furthermore, students retain less information when they are focused on their need to relieve themselves. How are we expected to concentrate on what is being taught if all that we can think about is needing to pee?
Also, having to wait until twenty minutes after the start of a lesson before being granted permission to use the bathroom is ridiculous. Not all people have complete control of their bodily functions and we can’t force ourselves to urinate just because it is lunch or recess. Sometimes you just simply have to go and I’m certain everyone has experienced this feeling.
If a student urgently needs to go to the toilet during class and is denied access, it can cause negative impacts on their health. If you make a habit of holding in your pee for ages, you are subjecting yourself to some horrible long-term effects. Constantly holding in your pee is not only painful, but can weaken your bladder muscles, which could lead to urinary retention and can also expose your body to potentially harmful bacteria, which increases your chances of contracting a urinary tract infection or bladder infection.
If you are hoping this policy will work to keep hallways clear and students in class, urine luck, but what this accomplishment really means is that students are damaging their internal organs, and self-esteem.
Imagine the embarrassment of having to walk all the way to the front office if you have had a surprise visit from Aunt Flo. Your immediate reaction would be to get to the bathroom as quickly as possible but by doing this you are greeted by a locked door and have to face the humiliation and stress of the what would feel like the most mortifying walk of your life thanks to whoever implemented this preposterous policy.
If this was any other workplace, it would be crucial for employees to have ready access to toilet facilities and where it is not reasonably practicable to provide access to permanent toilets, portable toilets need to be provided. Just because we don’t get paid like teachers, it doesn’t mean we don’t work here! I’m sure our school wouldn’t want to fund the hiring of port-a-loo’s so why not just let us access what is there?
Using the bathroom is a necessity, not a privilege to be earned or denied.
Those wishing to urinate and maintain their dignity simultaneously.
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