Controversy Swirls At Suburban High School Over Bathroom-Break Rationing

EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. (CBS) — Welcome to Evergreen Park High School, where Ms. Granata was named a classroom hero by the Chicago Bears and where student David Hector scored a perfect 36 on his ACT.

It’s also the same school where new rules about bathroom breaks have parents flush with anger.

The policy, students and parents say, limits a student’s bathroom breaks to just three per semester in some classes. After that, students must stay after school to make up lost classroom time.

“Let the principal get diarrhea or whatever, and he’s only allowed to go three times a semester, and see how he feels about this policy,” mother Beatrice Bailey tells CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole. “It’s crazy.”

Bailey rushed her son home in the middle of the day Monday because he’s dealing with digestive issues requiring extra bathroom time. The teen said he didn’t want to use up one of his permitted bathroom breaks. 

School administrators were reluctant to speak at first, but students suggested to CBS 2 some of their peers have abused the privilege of bathroom breaks.

“There’s too many kids who want to go to the bathroom for no reason,” senior Jasmine Nunez says.

Says parent Bailey: “I understand they are trying to cut down on students wandering the hallways, but there’s got to be another way.”

Evergreen Park High School Superintendent Beth Hart said in a statement that there is no official policy regarding student use of the restroom and students are permitted to use the bathroom whenever necessary.

More from Vince Gerasole
  • John H.

    Swirls. What the water in the bowl of a flushed toilet does. Great headline.

    • Edward Boothe

      This is the dumbest decision I have head since the American people put Barrack Hussein Obama in the White House. Have these people ever heard of diarrhea? Have the ever known anyone who never had diarrhea?

      • Marc Harman

        1. Have you head of checking for spelling and grammar errors?
        2. Learn how to spell the president’s name.
        3. By including Hussein, are you implying President Obama is a terrorist or dictator who murdered thousands of people?
        4. Your last sentence makes no sense.

      • PG

        @ Marc – “1. Have you “heard” of checking for spelling and……”, try to take your own advice and learn to write properly.

        Secondly, I love it that you were so busy trying to scold someone, you didn’t even post on the correct story. This story is about kids going to the bathroom in a high school, not about the POTUS. Try to keep up with the rest of us slick!



    • Common sense?

      My child’s school in Frederick county Maryland has limits for bathroom use.
      Last year a woman science teacher limited the use of a bathroom pass to three times per two semesters.

      Other teachers tell the children “no” when they ask to use the facilities.

      Going to the bathroom is a basic necessity. If some children are exploiting the use of the bathroom, tell those children “no” after a warning. But don’t punish every child for a few brats.

      • Phil

        It will just take one kid sharting himself and suing the school for this to go away forever

  • allison

    I’ve very confused. Your story contradicts itself; at the beginning it says there are new rules about bathroom breaks but at the end it says there are not. This is poor reporting.

    • Paul

      It is the school that is contradicting itself. They don’t want don’t like the bad PR. They would tell you that the sky is green if they thought they could get away with it.

    • Kendra Neal

      @Allison If you read the story correctly, the ending paragraph is a statement from the District Superintendent who is saying that there is no official policy on bathroom breaks. Although if you watch the video you will hear and see the parents and students talking about how the policy is in place.

      There is no bad reporting going on here, just the Superintendent trying to do some “face saving” now that the story is causing bad publicity for the school.

    • mike

      I don’t think so. The kids are experiencing a new policy in the school. The school superintendent denies it. Its the school officials who are contradicting each other.

  • The Daily Journal

    […] are news reports about a high school in Illinois limiting students to three bathroom breaks during class per […]

  • Roberta Waker

    This can be a tough one. I had problems with diarrhea when working and sometimes had to take numerous bathroom breaks. If a student has diarrhea, it’s probably a good idea to inform the teacher of his/her problem and the teacher MUST allow the student to use the bathroom. Kids who abuse the policy should be dealt with since their peers seem to know who they are and the abusers should be punished, NOT those that really need to use the bathroom. Restricting bathroom breaks is NOT a good idea if someone has a medical problem, unless those responsible want to clean up the “results”.

  • lukuj

    While I agree that the rule, if it does actually exist, is harsh, part of me sympathizes. As a retired teacher, I can tell you there are kids, and not just a few, who make a career out of going to the bathroom. it would help if so many schools didn’t allow them to have the big, wet pacifiers (water bottles) hanging out of their mouths for much of the day. It takes 3 days to die of thirst. Students are NOT going to get dehydrated if they go for a few hours without a drink while actually in class. If they drink constantly, that also increases restroom use.

    • anna

      Yes, but many students, like myself, are athletes, and we need to have water throughout the day to prevent our muscles from cramping up, and to be hydrated during games. Water, and therefore bathroom use, is necessary for athletes, at least. At my school, we are only allowed four minutes for passing period, and one bathroom break a quarter. You get used to it, but for freshman, and people who need more time, its difficult.

      • Kyle

        Are you cramping up from running to class or are you lifting weights during passing periods that makes you cramp up during class. I went to Evergreen and played 3 sports for 4 years and never had to have water to keep from cramping up. If you are thirsty no one is going to stop you from drinking water, but give me a break. Unless you have gym or are doing for some reason doing sprints in between class, I don’t think it is unreasonable to have a limit on the amount of times you can use the bathroom or get water before it distracts from your education and therefore causes you to make up the time after school.

    • Brad

      While I am not that old, waterbottles were not around when I went to school and we did not have problems at all. I agree with most posters here Deal with the abusers and leave the rest alons.

    • JByrd42

      Maybe they just needed a break from your teaching?

    • angrydad

      Are you serious? Dehydration can happen in as little as a hour. You might not perish, but symptoms of dehydration can appear that soon. Glad you’re retired, wouldn’t want you in my child’s school.

    • bk

      There is significant research that shows that a dehydrated (even slightly) brain does not function and learn as well as a fully hydrated brain.

      • Weiner

        Better get a glass of water. You sound dehydrated

      • Watermama

        At angry dad and bk. If this is the case, then no one should be driving or working unless they are drinking water every hour. We don’t want our brain function to make us kill or make a wrong move while driving and we should not be out and about unless we are hydrated. LOL this is totally ridiculous and you are only enabling the abusers.

    • Freedom

      Nothing you said justifies collective punishment.

      For some reason schools can uncritically say, “We have a problem with a few students.” and then say, “We can’t identify the students with the problem or take care of it on an individual basis, so we must use collective punishment.”

      Either the abusers of the system can be identified, or they do not exist.

      On top of that, this decree could easily be a violation of the Disabilities Act.

      • Dave

        That’s the democrat way…punish the good in order to not to have to dela directly with the trouble makers….

  • onewhoknows

    This is NOT a tough one. Any teacher can tell you that the vast majority of bathroom visits during class are just kids wanting to do anything but be in class and is very disruptive. Every school should have this policy. A note from a parent should easily make an exception for the student with a medical problem. Our society is progressively making teaching an impossibility.

    • Roberta Waker

      A paren’ts note is not always possible because certain diseases and illnesses don’t give any warning. The teachers just have to try their best to figure out who is abusing the policy and take action. Maybe leaving their cells phones and cigarettes behind would limit their bathroom use. As for the dehydration comments, kids don’t get dehydrated doing nothing – in most cases they have to be exercising or exerting themselves somehow to get dehydrated. The tough part is knowing the necessary breaks from unnecessary; but experience should eventually resolve most cases of repeat offenders.

    • wow

      Yes, because a parent can predict whether or not a kid is going to have an upset stomach each day after the healthy and nutritious (sarcasm here) lunch they receive. If you gotta go, you gotta go. Kid’s should just start going to the bathroom in their chairs if they can’t use the restoom when they need to. Bet this will change everyone’s mind about this.

    • Freedom

      Please explain to me how letting the child completely uninterested in learning leave the classroom is somehow disruptive?

      Wouldn’t allowing the most disruptive child in class leave to go to the bathroom create a better learning atmosphere for the rest of the student?

      Teachers and their elitest attitudes, as well as their inability to adopt to new technology or accountability (as in any other business) is what is progressively making teaching impossible.

      I have had 2 daughters that I have raised to both test high in gifted and read at 2-4 years above their grade level. All I did was teach them how to use a game system at an early age and forced them to learn how to read to play the games.

      Teachers are the biggest bunch of whiners in any profession ever and are not near as useful or effective as they think they are.

  • Diet Pepsi

    Believe me, no one even wants to go n those bathrooms. My kids went to HS in Springfield, and would bust a gut, not to use a school bathroom. When I taught, we had scheduled breaks.

  • Hank Warren

    Useless schools and their useless rules, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our rights:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama, vote for Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

  • Chicago Philosopher

    Liberal Union teachers are the racing stripe on the underwear of life.

  • Realist

    Yeah because digestive problems usually occur with plenty of advance notice so that parents can write a note. To the teachers who have a problem with kids leaving the class – If you teaching was interesting and you keep your kids engaged then they will not leave the class.

    • Argus

      IBS, Chrons disease, Celiac disease, and a host of other gastrointestinal maladies DO NOT give warnings for which you can write a note. It just happens. Obviously, your problems aren’t in the form of GI issues, you are just a moron.

      • Roberta Waker

        Argus. You are absolutely right; however, a note in the students’ file indicating they have one of these diseases would help the teacher immensely. As for the Realist’s comment about the teaching being interesting – if you really need to go NOW, it doesn’t matter if the President is in the classroom – you WILL GO.

  • aCapitalister

    I used to teach and was not unionized. I can agree with this rule. My kids wanted to leave every ten minutes, and most of them were not actually using the bathroom, but just going there to use their phones or break something.

    • Realist

      Repeatable behavior is different, unless of course the kid happens to need to go number #2 everyday a half hour after lunch. That is nature. As the other poster said, you can’t do this to POW’s or terrorists.

      From a system that is banning Halloween Costume Contests and hiding who is getting free or reduced lunch because the poor kids might be embarrassed, the thought of the mental torture of a kid going in their pants in front of their peers….. Not a problem because the teachers are inconvienced.

      News Flash school is for the kids not a paycheck, or a right, or a convience for the teachers.

    • Freedom

      Then disciplining the students directly responsible for abusing the privilege is the proper form.

      Collective punishment is stupid and is tantamount to admitting that teachers and administrators have no ability to identify the disruptive students or take the steps necessary to discipline them.

      How about next time someone shoplifts, everyone in the store has to go to jail?

      How about the next time one person runs a red light, we all have to pay a ticket?

      • Gene

        Van anytime you bring someone’s intelligence into question in order to get your point across you are berateing them. Let your information stand for what it is.

      • Van

        Freedom, you seem like a smart person, so I’m sure you’d recognize that reality is almost always too complicated for sweeping generalizations to be made.

        A kid goes to the bathroom and comes back 10-15 minutes later asking what they missed. Yes, they are not a distraction while they’re gone, but what are you going to do when they come back and ask what they missed? Re-teach those minutes while the rest of the class waits? Good luck ignoring the kid and having an angry parent arguing that their kid missed the assignment because you didn’t teach it to them. I suppose you can ask them to ask their classmates to fill them in, but if they don’t do that, often times teacher are still on the hook. Imagine 3 kids doing this in a 55 minute period with 30 other kids needing your assistance at the same time.

        Last point, unlike the private sector, teachers can’t just get rid of bad or unintelligent students. I feel bad that your gifted daughters didn’t have their talents maximized, but what do you expect when they’re in class with 20-30 other kids, most with average IQs and some with very low IQs. There is only one teacher and if they taught to the level of the gifted students, the other kids would riot out of boredom/confusion. It’s a tough balancing act. Teachers have lost much of their effectiveness because they are now constrained by laws and regulations. Dropout rates have dropped by half since the 70’s and I’m fairly certain that it’s not because the students have become more disciplined. Teachers are simply stuck with more disruptive kids and it is the State that ties their hands in regards to discipline.

        This post was not meant to berate you, but I do hope it gives you some pause when you casually criticize a whole profession of people who (most, but not all) are mostly pretty caring and decent professionals.

  • Gordon Preston Brown

    Time for a massive lawsuit against the school district and the principal. I would like to hear them try to explain this in a court of law. I would also believe a plaintiff would be eligible for millions of dollars of compensation due to this policy that is even prohibited by the Geneva Convention.

    • Disbeliever

      Oh yeah, that will solve a lot. It is hard enough to teach kids when parents like you alway try to find a way to sue if you don’t get your way or you find a loophole. This also teaches our kids to not respect authority and they will try to find loopholes on how they can get their way. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think every student should be punished because of the abusers. But suing for millions without caring to take care of the problem I think is a bit extreme. Mr Brown, why don’t you try to give a real solution instead of trying to bring down the schools and encouraging kids to disrespect their teachers and our schools all together?

      • Realist

        In my schools (Department of Defense schools mostly), the principal and vice principals would walk the halls and bathrooms during class time. Students would be pushed back to class if they were wasting time. Instead I guess this principal feels it is better to make the kids fear going to the bathroom. Perhaps this school should find administrators who are not too lazy to do their jobs.

      • Freedom

        How are “authorities” who are so ineffective, that they have to institute collective punishment worthy of any “respect”?

        The kids see right through the laziness at the root of this decree. They also see that no matter how well they do as individuals, if one person messes up, then they are going to get punished.

        That is teaching worthless and arbitrary authority that does not deserve respect.

        If suing the school district is the only way to make teachers and administrators do the jobs they are paid for, then have at it.

  • tim

    Evergreen Park needs a course in Freud’s stages of development, cause the principle is clearly neurotic in the form of anal retentive!

  • CAT-WYP (Citizens Against Tyranny / Watch Your Politicians)

    […] Chicago high school limits bathroom breaks to three…per semester.… […]

  • Fanny Forbes Franklen

    Just another reason to get your children out of the government mind control camps that get worse and worse every year and are staffed by mental deficients and degenerates.

    “The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality” ~ H. L. Mencken

  • Jenny

    First, let’s remember, this is a high school, not a grade school. And the reason kids are given breaks is for the purpose of taking care of these things during the breaks. And to the one parent, and the diarrhea comment….if your kid is sick….they should be home, not in school, so that does not apply here. High School kids can make it through a 2 hour movie, or a 3 hour concert, but they can’t make it through a one hour class? Nice try.

    • ilivethis

      I agree, high school kids can make it through a 2 hour movie, or a three hour concert. However, at my school, we have four minutes to walk to class and get our books from our lockers, which is barely enough time to go to the bathroom. Usually, that is seven hours without a bathroom break, if you dont want to use your once a quarter pass.

      • Farmer Friend

        We had three to four minute breaks, and it was never a problem. How big is your school that you cannot make it from class, to the bathroom to your locker, then back to class in four minutes?

    • Karen

      And if a girl suddenly gets her period and starts gushing she’s just out of luck in that hour, then she can walk around embarrassed for the rest of the day. Yeah, right. Way to go, moron.

      • melanie

        exactly… and I was waiting for an intelligent person to remember that young girls have this issue. Most young girls start their period in 7th or 8th grade. They will need to go to the bathroom at least twice during the school day. If not more. A period can last for approximately 4 days, some longer some shorter. No one has the same schedule. I would think that since most teachers are female, they certainly would be able to understand this.

    • Realist

      How long is their break? How big is the school? I had small schools and it was hard to go from one class to another on time, let alone use the bathroom.

      Once again, how often does diarrhea give you advance warnings? Enough time to say hey mom, I think I will have diarrhea today can I have a note?

      Must Defend Teachers at all costs.

  • no

    Going to the bathroom is a PRIVILEGE???

  • jnsesq

    This is truly become a society that has lost all control — though apparently not of bodily functions. Gotta love nanny statism.


    Remember: When a liberal burns the American flag, he means it.

  • Strong Mama

    My daughter who has ulcerative colitis would really suffer under this policy.

  • Christina Bdba

    This will likely lat until the first flu epidemic sweeps the school then the janitors will inform the teachers that they will have to clean their own rooms because they have too much to do.Considering most your girls over her age of 12 have a monthly cycle and having to sit through class while leaking everywhere will be mentally stressful I wonder how many lawsuits until they change this?

  • Christina Bdba

    I’ve found over the years that most in the field of school administration are really control freaks who enjoy levying their power over the kids.This just reeks of that and if my child was in this school I’d be at every meeting with every bit of info on ll of the things wrong with this….I’d also ask if the teachers/administration are going to be under the same policy and if not why not?

  • Jose

    A new market opportunity. The school store can stock “depends” in fashionable colors with appropriate slogans for our teenager’s special needs. Sarcasm off.

  • Curly Bill

    Teacher, I have to wee wee.

    No, you already wee weed three times this semester — that’s enough!

    Boy, how stupid have things gotten?!

  • Jeromette

    This sort of nonsense exposes the public school system to well deserved contempt. Every time some dope does something nuts like this it harms the perception of public schools nation wide.

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