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Bye Bye Bathrooms

Leah Dunbar, '18, Staff Writer

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To those students who use the bathroom as an excuse to look up an answer to a test or simply take a break from class: find another option. According to recent studies by psychologists John Spelling and Kelly Weisner, over 50% of the times students ask to use the restroom, that is not actually what they are doing. Instead they are going on their phones, roaming the hallways, or leaving school altogether. Strath Haven is not taking this well, and at the last district meeting decided to take action. Starting on May 1st, students are to be limited to one bathroom visit per day. You may be wondering how they will implement this, as I was, but the system they have created is foolproof.

tendance will now have a tab that allows them to enter if you left the classroom to use the bathroom at any point during class. Once that tab has been filled with a bathroom visit, teachers in following classes know not to allow that student to leave the classroom at any point during class. Sure, you may be able to trick a substitute into letting you go to the bathroom after already having gone once, but the system has predicted and prevented this from having. Just as students enter a pin in the cafeteria to pay for their lunch, students will now have to enter the same pin when entering the bathroom. A door will be put on each bathroom entrance around the school and remain locked until a pin is entered and deemed acceptable to enter. If a teacher has already entered that you have used the bathroom once, the door will remain locked when your pin is entered.

While this system seems overly dramatic to me, the leaders of the school district meeting seemed intent on implementing it with the belief that it will result in higher test scores. One student commented on this at the meeting, noting that if people are going to the bathroom to search the correct answer on a test, their test scores would be more likely to decrease with this system. Although, as Lower Merion has had this rule since the beginning of the 2016 school year, this is not the result they are seeing. Principle of Lower Merion, Marc Redwin, thought of the idea when walking through the halls and seeing how many students failed to even look up from their phones to acknowledge him. Assuming they had gotten out of class by claiming they needed to use the restroom, President Redwin decided teachers should no longer be fooled.

Despite some resistance, President Redwin got the rule passed by the Lower Merion school district and has not looked back. As a whole, Lower Merion High School test scores have increased by 3 percentage points since the implementation of the one-a-day bathroom trip rule, and Strath Haven is looking for the same, at a minimum. As we all know, Lower Merion is close on our tail for test scores and Wallingford-Swarthmore School District is not willing to give up our spot in the school rankings. In effect, our students will be restricted to the classrooms except for during class switches and once a day. While the question was raised if this is acceptable, wondering if one bathroom trip in a seven hour period is really enough, the solution was made that the bathrooms will be unlocked during the entirety of lunch and during class switches. Therefore, a student could theoretically use the bathroom five times per day, once between each class, once at lunch, and once during a class. This may be seen as a positive side to some, but it also gives the school more basis to keep this rule in place. So take your pick, either get into computer science and hack the system to let you go to the bathroom as much as you want, or accept your fate and endure the full eighty minutes of each class.

The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.
Bye Bye Bathrooms