Some students at Zephyrhills High School in Florida are not allowed to use the bathrooms without an official escort, and parents and students are livid, AOL News is reporting.
The Tampa-area school enacted the policy after a series of bathroom-related incidents, according to teacher Catherine Burgess.
“We’ve had issues with people being accosted coming out of bathrooms, drug deals taking place in the hallways, students having sex in bathrooms. That’s what we’re trying to put a stop to.”
Ms. Burgess, who helped design the bathroom policy, described similar problems to Bay News 9.
“We have groups of students waiting outside of bathrooms, waiting to attack other students. We have students defecating on the floors in the restrooms.”
Under the terms of the Zephyrhills High School bathroom policy, if a student needs to use the bathroom during class, he or she must notify the teacher, who will then notify one of five school administrators who will escort that student to the bathroom. Students are not allowed to ask for bathroom breaks during the first ten minutes of each class or the last 10 minutes of the class.
The bathroom policy doesn’t apply to periods between classes or during lunch.
Student Kylee-Ann Witzke, who came home from Spring Break to find the new bathroom regulations in place, says the policy is humiliating.
“I feel very violated, very uncomfortable to come to school. I can’t even use the restroom which is a basic human right without feeling uncomfortable.”
One anonymous Zephyrhills student had similar feelings.
“I think that having an escort to bring you back and forth to the bathroom is some sort of invasion of privacy.”
Another student made comparisons to being in prison.
“I feel like I’m either being treated like a toddler or a prison inmate.”
And an unnamed parent agreed that the bathroom policy is ridiculous.
“It’s an endangerment to their health, having to hold their bladder that long.”
The bathroom policy was so controversial that even the Pasco School Board, which has oversight over Zephyrhills High School, urged the school administrators to back down over the policy, according to WTSP (Tampa). But after enough students – and parents – complained, the principal finally revised the bathroom policy, somewhat.
Now, only students who have had behavioral or academic issues, which is about 20 percent of the student body at Zephyrhills, will be required to be escorted to the bathroom. The rest will be given privilege passes that allow them to use the bathroom without an escort.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/Cardaf]