Florida High School Requires Bathroom Escorts for Students
A new policy has sparked controversy at a Florida high school because it requires students to be accompanied by a supervisor to all visits to lavatory facilities.
The new rule, reported by WFTS in Tampa Bay, was recently instituted by administrators at Zephyrhills High School, where pupils and some parents are speaking out against the policy to restrict students’ freedom to pee in peace.
“We’re in high school. We shouldn’t have to be babysat. We should be able to go to the bathroom,” one Zephyrhills high junior was quoted as saying. “I think that having an escort to bring you back and forth to the bathroom is some sort of invasion of privacy, you know?” added another.
Parent John Witzke told WFTS that he considered the rule a potential endangerment to health when students are required to “hold their bladder that long.”
But teachers and administrators at Zephyrhills say the policy was implemented due to safety concerns over loitering and alleged drug activity in and around bathrooms, as well as sexual activities taking place inside the facilities.
“The bigger picture at school is we have safety concerns in the hallways. We have groups of students waiting outside of bathrooms, lying in wait to attack other students,” said Faculty Union representative and art teacher Catherine Burgess.
The teacher added that students and parents who are against the measure mistakenly believe that students have a “right” to private breaks that are actually “bathroom privileges” granted by school officials.
The widespread criticism did prompt administrators to rethink the policy and beginning Friday, the district said it will single out certain students who will require escorts to the bathroom, based on their grades and prior behavior.