Staff Editorial: New bathroom policy neglects student needs

Administration fails to communicate rules, intentions


Kaia Myers

Principal Scott Meyers relays policy changes implemented at the start of the 2019-2020 school year to the freshman class. The first week schedule was adjusted to allow each class to have a grade-level meeting where the Administration could explain the new policies.

In order to succeed, students must have their basic in-school needs met, including access to a bathroom. However, due to the numerous closures and the poorly thought out release of the new bathroom-pass policy, Park administrators have failed to provide for their students.

According to assistant principals Todd Goggleye and Jessica Busse, the new policy still allows teachers to write individual bathroom passes, but eliminated permanent lanyard ones. However, it seems most teachers are unaware of this. In fact, in the official 2019-2020 Staff Handbook it says “NO PASSES” are to be written by staff under normal circumstances. Additionally, rather than instruct staff to write a bathroom pass in the case of “an emergency bathroom need,” the Staff Handbook directs teachers to call for a Grade Level Coordinator (GLC) to “assist the student.”

It seems Administration has already changed the policy from what they articulated to students and staff, without updating the school. Due to the lack of communication, these well-intentioned rules — aimed at keeping students safe and in class, according to Goggleeye — have angered students and prevented many from accessing the bathroom throughout the day. 

Since the new policies have gone into effect, many Park students can attest to the long lines found in each restroom during most transitions. This situation is only exacerbated by Park’s restrictive policy toward tardies, found in the 2019-2020 Student Handbook, which enacts strict punishments for being five minutes late to class — especially for athletes who can be penalized in their sports.

The current circumstances puts teachers into a situation in which they must imperil student health by not allowing them to go to the bathroom. This is against the district’s own Health and Safety Policy which states “all school district employees have a responsibility for maintaining a safe and healthy environment.” Goggleye said the Administration will go over the full policies at the next staff meeting, likely to inform teachers of their pass writing ability, but each day until then is another day in which the school neglects its students’ needs. 

The Board believes that in the future, the administrators must inform both students and staff about all policy changes, and ensure all their actions are for the benefit of the school. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the students to respect the school staff and facilities in order to prevent the need for such restrictive policies in the future.