NAPERVILLE, Ill. (CBS) — Indian Prairie School District 204 says despite rumors, students will not really have to pay to go to the bathroom at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports, it all looked legitimate based on a recent Facebook posting about a 50-cent pay-per-flush fee, a $3 cost for renting textbooks if a student forgot to bring a book to class, a 50-cent hall pass fee, and a $25 desk use fee to cover the cost of damage to desks, the Chicago Tribune reported.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports
It was all on an official-looking document on school letterhead that laid out the costs, the newspaper reported.
The information about the pay-per-flush fee indicated that locking mechanisms would be installed in restrooms during the first month of the new school year, and the fee would be assessed when a student swiped an ID card to enter a stall, the Tribune reported. The fees were purportedly intended to offset vandalism costs, the newspaper reported.
At the bottom of the agreement, a space was left for students and parents or guardians to sign, the Tribune reported.
But it was not real.
It turned out it was a teacher’s classroom exercise on how taxes work. A teacher a Waubonsie Valley High School initiated the exercise several years ago, and it was picked up by a teacher at Neuqua, the Tribune reported.
Some students and even parents mistakenly believed the fees would go into place this fall, the newspaper reported.
While the Naperville document turned out to be much ado without nothing, pay toilets in schools are not fictional – at least not everywhere in the world.
In 2003, the Associated Press reported that officials at a high school in the southern Russian city of Taganrog had begun charging students for restroom use. As it happens, the reason in the real Taganrog case was the same as the one listed in the Naperville document – to offset costs for repairing vandalism, the AP reported.
The Russian network NTV television showed an amateur video in a school hallway showing a boy asking a custodial worker whether he could use the restroom, a question to which she simply replied, “Pay,” the AP reported.
The news agency reported that city education leaders were quick to halt the practice.