How many times have we seen this situation in a classroom: the teacher is in the middle of a brilliant lesson, the students are all enraptured, education is flowering in the truest sense, and suddenly it is all ruined by an irrelevant interruption. A hand is raised in the middle of the room, begging, "Can I have a bathroom pass?"
In addition to interrupting class at random times, this is the root of a number of issues in our schools. The restrooms have been shown to be central locations for time wasting, bullying, rule breaking, and discrimination against transgender students. Attempts to solve this problem by limiting availability of bathroom passes, or requiring good behavior from students, simply fail to address the core issues.
Let me ask the obvious question: Why are there bathrooms in our schools at all? They serve no educational purpose, take up space, and are costly in terms of both maintenance and order. Every bathroom in the Hillsboro school system should have all its toilets and sinks removed, and the rooms should be re-purposed as classrooms. Think about the benefits:
- Schools will gain additional classrooms in what is now wasted space, increasing capacity.
- Custodial costs will go down, as janitors have significantly fewer cleaning tasks.
- Students will learn the valuable techniques of self-control.