Students and faculty discuss VHS’s
By Selene Dalinis, Reporter
This year, the bathroom policy has become more restrictive compared to previous years. Students must leave their phones in classrooms when using a hall pass, and can only be gone for short periods of time: two to five minutes depending on the teacher. Students also cannot be gone for the first 10 minutes or the last 10 minutes of class. The reasons for the policy implementation are heavily linked to COVID-19.
The effects of COVID-19 and the year of online classes are still seen in our school, and Principal Danny Rock links the bathroom policy to the past year of being home.
“11th graders across the US were uniquely impacted, just like eighth graders… so they were robbed of the opportunity of transitioning, and from middle school to high school they had this soft, mushy osmotic experience,” Rock said.
Teacher Aaron Marsh made the same connection.
“A lot of what we’re dealing with is just trying to get things back in line after the COVID chaos,” Marsh said.
Leaving phones in class is the major change this year. Rock touched on how this was a big decision for admin.
“[This] took a lot of conversation as a staff to agree that we would not have students bring cell phones to bathrooms,” Rock said.
Lilyana Eng, a sophomore, isn’t opposed to it. From her point of view, there is a reason for some of the policy.
“… the phone thing I think is fair…” Eng said.
She sees a different problem with bathroom restrictions, specifically for people who are on their periods.
“I’ve talked to a couple of girls, one specifically told me today that a teacher held her in and she started bleeding on the chair,” Eng said.
Eng also discussed how a lot of teenagers are still learning to use menstrual products, and there are multiple reasons as to why bathroom trips might take longer.
“People who are figuring out how to use those things might take a little longer. I know sometimes I do,” Eng said.
Regardless of these concerns, students feel administrators want to keep students from leaving their class. Marsh noted how the majority of his students follow policies without resistance.
“For 90% of students… they didn’t want to miss [class time] and then have a problem later,” Marsh said. “Last year it became more of a problem,”
Rock agrees with Marsh that the majority of students are respecting the school’s wishes and rules.
“Administrators [try] to not ignore the larger group of people who are doing what you want them to be doing,” Rock said.
Rock also addressed how students who are on their periods may have special circumstances requiring them to leave class for extended amounts of time.
“There was concerns…on behalf of our female students and if they’re changing pads or tampons,” Rock said. “All of that was surfaced but it’s also possible some of it may be a distant memory for some teachers,”
The policy still has the potential to have negative effects on people. Eng sympathizes with students and staff.
“It could be really unfair to some people, but I understand the cutback of trying to keep kids from skipping and stuff,” Eng said.
The reasons for the new bathroom policy are understandable, but students are concerned about fairness and their personal needs.