Answering Nature's Calls at Chicago High School Could Lead to Trouble

At one Chicago high school, too many trips to the restroom can lead to another trip at the end of the day: back to the classroom to make up time lost. That's how Evergreen Park High School is addressing the problem of students abusing bathroom breaks. But isn't that punishing everyone for the actions of a few?

Find available tutors

evergreen park high school bathroom breaks

When You Gotta Go...

When the urge hits students at Evergreen Park this school year, they'll have to think twice before asking to use the restroom. The school has begun to crack down on excessive bathroom breaks with an optional new policy for the 2011-12 academic year. The new policy allows each student only three trips to the bathroom.

And that's per semester. Yes, you read that right. Three trips to the bathroom per semester.

The rule, which each teacher can decide to enforce or not, has caused an understandable outcry from parents; one went as far as to ask that if Evergreen Park Principal Bill Sanderson 'got diarrhea', would the policy apply to him as it does the students?

Readin', Writin' and Bladder Control

So are students actually supposed to 'hold it' during class?

Urinary tract infections or other medical issues could lead to frequent bathroom visits. These infections are marked by intense urges to urinate. Some parents whose children have had urinary tract infections in the past fear that waiting too long to use the bathroom could bring those infections back. Dr. David Zumerchik, an Evergreen Park urologist, noted that while holding it will not necessarily cause problems, doing so could exacerbate existing conditions. How will this be addressed?

Principal Sanderson assures parents that kids can go to the bathroom as often as they need to (bathroom requests will not be turned down), but work will need to be made up should those trips force them to miss too much instructional time.

Sanderson also pointed out that students could visit the restroom between classes; many students argue that this is simply not feasible. Not only could that lead to an overwhelming number of students trying to use the restroom at once, but since there is only five minutes between classes many feel that spending some or all of that time answering nature's call will result in their being late to the next class.

'No Trust'

Blame it on loss of trust.

At least that's the feeling expressed by one mother, Cathi Diamond, who worries that 'holding it' can be harmful to her daughter's health.

Diamond told the Chicago Sun-Times in October: 'There's no trust of the parents. There's no trust between teachers and students. There's no trust the teacher will know when a student genuinely needs to go or when they use the washroom as an excuse to get out of class.'

No Time for Make-Up Time?

Other parents complain that making up time after school may not always be a viable option.

For instance, Cathi Diamond's daughter, Emily, would be unable to attend drama club meetings if she had to make up class time after school. Others may have sports practice or need to catch the bus if they have no other way home.

But for now, it seems these students will have to make other arrangements: the policy remains in effect, and Evergreen Park seems pretty serious about it. One student recently told NBC Chicago that a girl in his class asked to use the bathroom twice, leading to a confrontation between the student and the teacher that resulted in the student being escorted from class by security personnel.

If it's coming down to that, one has to wonder if 'holding it' is such a bad idea.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    Should Your Child Finish High School Before Learning to Drive?

    One method that seems to be fairly effective with many kids who are not doing well in school is to take away something they enjoy, such as TV, video games or cell phones. Some state governments have even enacted laws wherein licenses are taken away from those who drop out of school. Is this too much government interference?...

  • More Blog Articles
    Pepper Spraying Students: High School Security Gone Awry

    When students feel unsafe in school, they should be able to trust in the school's security officers. But in Birmingham, it's the security officers who are making the students feel unsafe. Their aggressive use of pepper spray is causing controversy and heightening friction with students.

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth