Restroom Policy at SEMHS

Tommy Tran, Features Editor

At South El Monte High School there is a restroom policy that students are not to go to the restroom during the first and last 20 minutes of class. The Eagle’s Nest sought some perspectives of teachers’ opinions about the restroom policy, as well as provided insight into their own policies. Mr. Velasquez, an Ethnic Studies teacher, agrees with the restroom policy, he says, “For me, I would like much stricter enforcement of the policies. I would like students to be restricted to a short period of time to go to the restroom and return to work.” Many can agree with Mr. Velasquez on his thoughts about the restroom policy, but there are cons to the policy. Mr. Velasquez says “By restricting students from the restroom in the first 20 and last 20 minutes of class, students that need to go can’t, and the one student at a time situation has the same problem.”

In Mr. Johnson’s class students have an honor policy. When a student needs to use the restroom, they write their name on the whiteboard and the time they leave. “When a student has to use the restroom, the teacher might be in the middle of instruction, or answering student questions. Placing accountability, and autonomy on students when it comes to using the restroom is a way to establish responsibility and consideration for others in the classroom. If the system is abused, I take note of the students who are taking advantage and address the issue with them or possibly their parent if necessary.” Mr. Johnson said. 

In Mr. Magana’s classroom, students can use the restroom when they need to, but if students have been gone for a long time, Mr. Magana notifies parents. Mr. Magana, clarifies, “I notify parents of students who waste time when they say they go to the restroom. Coincidentally, I see other teachers make a note of the same students in our attendance program.”

In Mr. Legaspe’s classroom students go to the restroom one at a time and hand in their phones before leaving to use the restroom, and he also documents how long students leave and come back from the restroom. “I feel too many students use the restroom to meet up with their friends. I base it on my conference times. When out of my classroom I see many students hanging out with their friends, couples, or at the benches using their phones. Learning is not possible if a student is always out,” Mr. Legaspe said.

Perhaps the restroom policy will change in the future, for now students should be aware when using the restroom to make sure they return to class as soon as they are done to ensure they do not miss out on learning in the classroom.