“May I use the restroom?”

Students using the restroom during 5th period and hanging out in the quad
Photo Credits to: Katie Castillo

Students “using the restroom” during 5th period and hanging out in the quad Photo Credits to: Katie Castillo

Raine Justine De Fiesta, Staff Writer

Every day, I hear multiple students in my classes ask to use the restroom. Some use the restroom while some stroll around. After transitioning back to in-person learning, students have been overusing the opportunity to “use the restroom” and instead have been wandering around to pass class time.

As a senior, I too have taken a few long strolls around the school.  With a non-busy schedule, classes tend to feel slow or boring at times so using the restroom as a break is what I often do.

According to Assistant Principals Kristie Jackson and Rick Ortega, “We don’t have a new policy towards bathroom breaks but we highly encourage students to go to class.”

“If they are defiant then that’s when there will be consequences. We just want kids in class,” they expressed.

I’ve noticed that when it’s block days, students tend to go out during 3rd and 4th periods to use the restroom. Our security guards have noticed too.

“Wednesdays and Thursdays are the worst since they’re block days,” security guards Martha Lopez-Muro and Daniel Sandoval said.

Although it’s been difficult for administration and security to direct students back to class, students too have a difficult time focusing in class.

“Bathroom breaks really help me destress and take a break from the work I’m doing in class since it gets overwhelming,” said Senior Gabriel Para. “Sometimes my mind’s not there so I put on my AirPods and walk outside for a bit to take a breath. The break helps my attention span and mental health.”

Security directing students back to class has been a problem for almost all students who are outside to take a break or use the restroom. When a student is out of class, security automatically assumes that students are out to just walk around. They have little trust in us since they don’t know if we’ve been out for long and just want us to go back to class so we don’t get in bigger trouble.

“When security asks me why I’m walking around and then tells me to go back to class, it’s usually when I just got out of class and actually need to use the restroom. Sometimes the restroom near my class isn’t clean so I walk across campus to go to a better one,” Junior Anyssa Hernandez said.

A few teachers on campus are also worried about the fact that if a student were to use the restroom, they may never come back. Restroom breaks can make students lose track of time and forget that others need to use the restroom too.

“When my students go on restroom breaks, I know that it’s not only because they need to use the restroom, but because they need a break,” Chem Forensics and Admin of Justice teacher Arnie Esquivel stated. 

“When someone is out, I advise them to hurry back so another student can go. It all comes down to personal responsibility, but I do not want to be the teacher that does not allow you to go. I’m responsible for the student’s safety so I have to know who’s out,” Esquivel continued.

From a student’s standpoint, breaks are crucial for our mental health. Taking a break is a good opportunity to relax after being in class for a long time. If a student were to stroll for longer than ten minutes, then they should schedule time with the Wellness Center rather than security having to stop them if they were strolling around campus. As long as students are being responsible while taking a restroom break then they should be fine. It would help students to take less restroom breaks if there were five minutes to take a break from work on longer block days.