Stephanie Warner Awards Prizes For Those With Infrequent Restroom Use

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn elementary school teacher has come up with a controversial idea to get her children to hold it in.

She’s trying to keep them at their desks and off the toilet, but some say it goes too far.

Denisse Corona is a fifth grader at P.S. 90 in Coney Island. She said her teacher, Stephanie Warner, decided to hand out prizes to students who didn’t use their bathroom passes.

“They’re just little tiny toys, like erasers, pencils, rulers,” Denisse said.

The little girl said she and her classmates would get three passes at the beginning of the week to use the bathroom. Her teacher then laid out rules on a sign at the front of the classroom. If they still had passes at the end of the week, the students were rewarded.

“Lots of kids are holding because they want to get a prize,” Denisse said.

But holding it can lead to medical problems, according to one parent, who has an autistic son in the class.

“It’s not fair to the children. Mine has a bladder problem so three times a week is not cutting it,” Sandra Leon said.

The idea for the plan was to get students to voluntarily take fewer bathroom breaks.

“Because some kids just go for fun. They just want to skip class,” Denisse said.

Another teacher at the school said the plan stinks.

“They want to discourage the children from missing instruction for whatever reason, but if you have to go, you have to go. I have to go to the bathroom,” said Vicky Giasemis, who is also a union representative.

Giasemis also teaches fifth grade at P.S. 90. She said last year she had three students urinate on themselves.

And the Department of Education issued a statement late Wednesday saying: “There is no school policy. Apparently, one teacher took it upon herself to enact a limit. The principal says she has put a stop to this.”

One parent told CBS 2 the principal is doing the right thing by reversing the policy.

“Believe me, if you mistreat my child, you mistreat me. If my child came home and told me he had to go to the bathroom and he was not allowed, trust me, it wouldn’t go well,” Delores Vann said.

The Department of Education said individual teachers in classrooms decide who goes to the bathroom and when.

Do you agree with the teacher’s policy? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (211)
  1. mickey1313 says:

    um, so you dont have to go to the bathroom everyday at around the same time>? I think you are lyeing, and if you cannot do it, you should not expect kids to.

  2. Neil C says:

    It’s amazing how angry mom’s say there will be trouble if they find out their child wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom and that teachers shouldn’t be allowed to make rules…etc….

    1. angela says:

      i’m sorry, some kids can’t hold themselves very well, it isn’t good for your bladder and she already admitted some 5th GRADERS WET THEMSELVES LAST YEAR BECAUSE OF HER RULE! “Giasemis also teaches fifth grade at P.S. 90. She said last year she had three students urinate on themselves.” good rule.
      one word- homeschool

      1. AMcCaffrey says:

        Read again, it was a different teacher who said that, not the one who made this rule.

    2. Ralph M says:

      Expand the court docket……here come some lawsuits !!

    3. Hope Lokerson VanSickle says:

      Are you kidding? A child that has to go to the bathroom should be able to at anytime.. obviously Neil… you are not a parent! (or at least not a good one)

  3. Gregg says:

    I can’t even believe this is considered news. I don’t understand how CBS saw this important enough for air time. There are real concerns in education far greater than one teacher’s bathroom policy. I can only suspect that somebody at CBS is somehow related to a student in Ms. Warner’s Class.

  4. Mamie says:

    I had a teacher do this when I was in first grade. It was horrible, because there were times when you just had to go, that you couldn’t wait and she would snottily say “It’s not bathroom break time”. When you got to go, you got to go. I mean really, that’s human cruelty!

    1. Stephanie Keehan says:

      that is why they have passes!!! Think about it, you can train your body to go to the bathroom at certain times….and the teacher clearly tells them when the appropriate time to go is. they have at least 3 chances while in school plus before and after school to go. BRAVO TEACHER! BRAVO!!

      1. Old Salt says:

        Read the story, again. That was three passes A WEEK!

    2. mickey1313 says:

      agreed, that is when I pulled it out (in 5th grade) and wized into the teacher bookbag, she suspended me, I told my mom why I was suspended and the teacher got a call about students paying her saliry and if she refused bathroom privalages again that legal action would be taken against the teacher personally, guess what, I could go to the bathroom whenever the hell I wanted. Btw, I was a 3.5 gpa student and never missed a day, but drank a lot of water.

      1. Stephan Fitzgerald Taylor says:

        That was inappropriate. In 5th grade, you can hold it until an appropriate break in the lesson or you can state your case well enough to not have to resort to such methods.

        1. coriolana says:

          You are inappropriate and should not be around children at all. Except, perhaps in that old kid’s opera, Hansel and Gretel.

      2. Julio Mendoza says:

        And clearly you never made it past 5th grade, thus you never learned to spell “salary”… or “privileges”… or “whizzed”… or to apply appropriate possessives, as in “the teacher’s bookbag”… or to avoid run-on sentences…

  5. DJCowboy says:

    What if the kid had buffalo wings the night before!? For me, I’m going to the toilet almost every 45 minutes!!

  6. RoyAllen says:

    I was going to leave another comment,but I have to go pee pee

    1. Rena Stone says:

      I’m a teacher, and I don’t discourage my students from going to the bathroom. I do, however, ask them if it’s an emergency if I’m in the middle of giving instructions. We also have a bathroom pass, that way students can see if someone’s already out, then they wait for the pass if they can, if not, they have been taught sign language for using the restroom. That way if I’m working with a small group, instruction isn’t interrupted. Sometimes students DO ask to go to the bathroom just to get away from class… but I like my 30 minute lunch break and want to get away, too! We all need that sometimes and kids are no different. When problems like fighting or messing up the restroom comes along, we deal with it then, we don’t just assume a kid’s out to make trouble every time they ask. Of course, I teach in an elementary school, and maybe secondary schools are different.

      1. Guest says:

        My son is in elementary school, and he developed an issue last year where he was getting up to go to the bathroom almost every hour. The teachers were not permitted to tell him no in any way. It because such an issue that they had me come in for a conference. They checked with me to sure he didn’t have a medical problem and then had me write a note for them telling how often he should actually need to use the restroom on a daily basis and a code phrase to use with him when they feel he was asking just to goof off and get out of class. Never had a problem since.

  7. Fixer says:

    What the article fails to mention is that bathroom passes are only used for breaks during class, and that they have other opportunities during snack, lunch, and class transitions. ( look at the picture. ) Furthermore, the vague description of three urinary accidents could apply to inclusion/ special needs students. Furthermore, it isn’t mandatory to only use it three times, you just miss out on a pencil at the end of the week. What kind of 5th grader would urinate on themselves for an eraser? The same parent that is against this is the same type of parent that would allow their kid to skip class for fake bathroom trips, and then blame the teacher for their child poor grades.

    1. mangotide says:

      totally agree and well said.

  8. Matt says:

    When I was in the third grade I stood up and started walking towards the door. My teacher said “Matt, what do you think you’re doing?”, to which I responded “Going to the bathroom”, to which she replied “You have to get permission first”, which forced me to say “I don’t need permission from anyone to use the toilet. I’m going to the bathroom, and you can’t legally stop me. If you try to hold me down so I can’t leave I will defend myself”. I remember this very clearly, because she DID try to forcibly keep me in the classroom, and I DID defend myself. According to Juvenile-Services what I did was perfectly legal, and the school had no right to suspend me over that behavior nor did the teacher have the right to press charges(even with a broken arm). Granted, that was 25 years ago.

    1. Mommy of 4 says:

      Matt – I’m glad to hear someone from Juvenile Services was keeping an eye on you as a child, it certainly sounds like your parents weren’t doing a great job. I hope eventually you grew up and out of your arrogance. Would you walk out of a meeting at work w/o excusing yourself, even if you didn’t “legally need their permission”? Your teacher saying you needed her permission did not FORCE you to say something you CHOSE to say it, and apparently you CHOSE to break your teachers arm. What a lovely 3rd grade memory for you to carry through life. I hope no other child ever has to go through that, although I am fine with kids having to ask permission to leave the class to use the restroom, and I am fine with them having only 5 specific times a day to do that, as long as I know their teacher would make an exception if the child raised their hand and asked permission appropriateley.

      1. coriolana says:

        to quote a wise man, “usually, one must go to a bowling alley to meet a woman of your calibre.”



  9. Carmen Juanita Nelson says:

    First of all, who made this teacher a rule maker? Is she in charge of potty training children or teaching a course? Ridiculous. Her policy makes it embarrassing for children, especially if she tells them to “hold it in.” Her JOB is to teach a course, not make rules for her students she thinks will help. If my child came home and had urinated on himself, because the teacher would not allow him to go to the bathroom, the teacher and I would have to go rounds. How awful….What a moron! Like many with their own ideas, this one won’t work.

    1. mangotide says:

      you have no idea what you are talking about. kids have plenty of opportunitiy to use the restroom outside of instruction time. it didn’t say they could not go, they’d just forfeit a ticket which would mean no eraser at the end of the week. systems similar to this are used all over in many schools and for good reason. if it’s not her job to make rules that she thinks will help, then the classroom would be in utter chaos. it is a teacher’s job to make rules (duh!). and when exactly, do you think it is appropriate to start teaching kids that using the restroom needs to be at appropriate times? if you work, do you get up in the middle of talking to your boss to go potty? please. do everyone a favor and stop treating your kid like he’s the center of the universe and give him some rules.

      1. Metal says:

        I don’t know about anyone else’s perfect bodies but if I go # 2 you best get out of the way!

    2. MsT says:

      Making rules is a part of a teachers job! I certainly remember classroom rules being posted in my classes. Each teacher had a different set of rules. The rules are needed to ensure that the classroom is kept under control. If a teacher can’t control the classroom then they can’t teach the students. If every child is allowed to do whatever they want to do there would be no order.

      1. Karrie says:

        But to treat them differently isn’t acceptable.

  10. Guest says:

    Id like to point out as a kid I had to go at least once a day at school,although usually during lunch.As an adult I go once an hour roughly.I couldnt and wouldnt work a job that didnt allow me time to relieve myself(and yes,I do do my work,its a lot easier to do without urine weighing you down)

  11. Guest says:

    You can not regulate and schedule bodily functions.
    This isnt the same as getting up to sharpen your pencil

    1. CMA(AAMA) says:

      I beg to differ. I work in a MEDICAL OFFICE (for a Board certified Urologist…) and we teach our pts (who suffer frequency, urgency and incontinence) how to do “bladder drills”. This process WORKS, and DOES in fact “train” the bladder that it is NOT in charge of when it goes, rather the person is in charge. Children DO need to learn to go when they have the opportunity; not just because they dont feel like sitting in their seat during lecture. There is, and always will be, the exception for a situation such as “if you gotta go, you gotta go”. It happens. (No pun intended.) But please educate yourself medically before making in-factual medical statements. It makes the entire medical industry look bad. Yes “holding it in” (READ: TOO LONG AND TOO OFTEN) CAN in fact cause problems… we stress that information to our patients. But a person needs to learn control over their body, unless an underlying health issue makes it impossible to do so…..

      1. Donna says:

        Really, my daughter in middle school had a teacher like this and she was getting UTI’s all the time. I took her to a specialist like you and found out that the teacher was preventing kids from using the bathroom too much and because she had to hold it in for so long cause her to have issues. She even wet herself. I had to get the doctor to fill out a form to allow her to go when needed! The teacher a moron and so are you!

        1. rea says:

          I had an issue like this come up with my 7th grader. His school gives them 3 minutes between classes, so telling them to wait until the end of the claass isn’t a sensible response.

      2. doubtsyourcredentials says:

        Teachers are not educated in medical knowledge. They can’t make the determination of a whether a student is at risk of developing some kidney issues as a result of holding it in. You are teaching adults with pre-existing conditions a method of controlling what they deem as uncontrollable. This does not apply to young kids. Especially in young kids that may be at risk to developing kidney issues later on. This policy encourages kids to feel bad about having to go to the bathroom, way to go. It may have had good intentions but the road to evil is paved with them. Also, you are an assistant in a medical office, not the doctor. Totally different pay grade. You are paid to assist a real doctor not dole out advice as if you were one.

        1. Amber says:

          You just read my mind. THANK YOU.

  12. tratt says:

    NO ONE was told they couldn’t go to the bathroom. I don’t see a problem with it.

  13. cygon says:

    they’d rather have a girl bleed menstrual blood on her seat?

    Back in my native country, teachers who did this usually are rewarded by wet puddles from kids too scared to ask.

  14. cygon says:

    this has been goin on for a long time, esp. in high schools.

  15. dumb ass teachers says:

    I tell my 11 yo if she has to really go and can not hold it any longer to get up and go even if the teacher has denied her request and then I will deal or take it up with the school…..this after my girl came home urinated and pooped on the school bus due to her teacher denying her various request….I had it out with the teacher and principal and after wards they both apologize and had no other denials for bathroom breaks….simple as that….

    1. Lia says:

      Your child could have gone after school let out prior ot boarding the bus. Urinating and defecating on oneself at age 11 is abnormal. If it was that urgent, she wouldn’t have held it until the bus.

      1. amber says:

        Unless students are kept in the classroom until their particular bus is called like many schools in NJ. There is no window to use the bathroom.

        Perhaps you need to research before you go spouting off incorrect and damaging comments.

    2. mom2five says:

      My son had problems with this in first grade and I also told him that he has my permission to go to the bathroom anytime he really needs to go. His teacher found out very quickly that not letting him go meant cleaning up a puddle! Of course I’m still laughing about the middle school teacher who wouldn’t let my sick son go to the bathroom because it was almost time for class change and he could go then. (He told her he was feeling sick!) He threw up right in the doorway of the classroom and class change didn’t go too well.

  16. Controlled_chaos says:

    Based on my own experience in elementary school and having bladder/kidney issues on top of my period at age 9, this is not a feasible solution. Medically it is just not sound. Granted kids need to be taught to use their time wisely, and not take advantage of the system but there are better ways to teach them in my opinion. Sadly, the kids don’t really have enough time between classes to go to the restroom in my district. They rush through lunch, have 5 minutes to get from class to class and during their break everyone is using the restroom at the same time. Teachers are in the same boat as the kids – because not only do they have to “hold” it, they also have to use their free time to police the restrooms and hallways. We American’s do not want to go to a year round school or even to make the days longer but we can’t expect our children to manage their time wisely when we continually rush them from one class to the next. I think the teacher had a good idea but it needs some tweaking.

    1. Lia says:

      Perhaps it would be better coordinated if there were 2 built in bathroom breaks per day per teacher. If there was a schedule (say 10-10:10 = Ms. Warner’s block), there would be less traffic to/from the bathroom and children would only “have to hold it” 2 hours from the time they arrived (and used the bathroom) at school. Then there is lunch, recess, and another 10 min block prior to the end of the day (another bathroom opportunity). This is an elementary school setting, not middle/high. I can’t believe this is on the news.

      1. DJ says:

        Children cannot always wait for the appointed restroom break – when you have to go you have to go.

      2. Lisa says:

        It’s obvious that YOU do NOT have children and if you do I feel sorry for them. You can not put a childs bladder on a schedule in that matter you can’t put any ones bladder on a schedule! When you got to go you got to go. But of course you have never had that problem, which explains the lack of sympathy for these kids. Never mind the bladder and kidney infections that holding it in can cause, which in a child can lead to even more problems.

  17. oojo says:

    Just wonder why this is just coming out. Didn’t these parents see the sign hanging in front of the room during open school week(guess they didnt go meet the teacher). Plus dont these parents talk to their children they have been in this class since Sept.

  18. chris says:

    I can understand instituting a “bathroom break” rule if you have students that are “frequent flyers” for the restroom. Those students who frequently need potti breaks (withouth Medical reasons) should have breaks restricted. For students who occasionally need to use the restroom, they should be accommodated without disciplinary consequences. I’m pretty sure the “frequent flyers” are not doing well in their studies anyway and should not be able to have unrestricted restroom breaks.

  19. BlueHorizon says:

    I see no problem with what this teacher is doing. No one is keeping the kids from using the bathroom. It just encourages them to use bathroom time and between class time wisely. For once we see a little discipline in schools and the parents of the spoon fed children start crying. Come on people, really?? How about a vote at the next PTA meeting by the parents and see who is for this plan?

    1. Elspeth says:

      Do you know what happens when a CHILD is told “no, you may not go to the bathroom, you have already used your three bathroom passes for the week” (btw, you should really READ the story before you post stupid comments) CHILDREN wet themselves. This is because they have small bladders and weaker muscles and neural control. Wetting one’s self in school causes humiliation and psychological trauma. What does humiliation and psychological trauma get you…a nasty, costly lawsuit, and the school district having to pay for private school tuition because now the child has a disability that the school district clearly is incapable of accommodating in the public school setting.

      You do the math, purposefully humiliate and abuse a child resulting in large $$$ payout or allow the child to go to the bathroom?

      This is a no brainer

      1. Mikismom says:

        do you know what happens when you tell a child “no” for any reason these days??????? grow up!!! kids take advantage and going in and out of a classroom is inconsiderate and disruptive to the rest of the class!

      2. Lia says:

        Maybe you should re-read the story: the kids who urinated on themselves were from the OTHER teacher’s class, the one without the bathroom rules. Additionally, these children are in 5th grade, not 1st. Your child should be bladder trained appropriately. Children are able to go before school, at lunch, recess, class breaks, and prior to boarding the bus to leave. Unless your child has a perpetual urinary tract infection, 3 “extra” times per week is plenty.

      3. lia says:

        Maybe you should re-read the story: the kids who urinated on themselves were from the OTHER teacher’s class, the one without the bathroom rules. Additionally, these children are in 5th grade, not 1st. Your child should be bladder trained appropriately. Children are able to go before school, at lunch, recess, class breaks, and prior to boarding the bus to leave. Unless your child has a perpetual urinary tract infection, 3 “extra” times per week is plenty.

    2. alex says:

      I bet if this were your kid being encouraged to hold it, your comment would not be so ridiculous. Discipline in school is when they are running wild and being disruptive. a bit of a difference.

  20. Fred Freml says:

    If my child had to use the bathroom – repeat, HAD to use the bathroom – and was prevented from doing so, I would personally go to the school and pee on the teacher myself, and say “Here ya go, I held it all the way to the school”

    1. coriolana says:

      Good grief, you really are a dirtbag!



  21. Dan Toma says:

    You sound like – and most likely are – a moron

  22. JD says:

    What is the student is female and just got her period? Does she get a tardy then?

    1. Bob says:

      Rare is the situation that you just described. I have encountered it twice in the last four years. Many females are uncomfortable approaching a male teacher about this, as I am equally uncomfortable about it, but is simple biology and I am willing to make exceptions. No system is perfect, but if you know your students, it easy to discern between those that have a real emergency and those that are trying to skip.

  23. Rhonda says:

    Although I understand if you have kids who are ALWAYS going to the “Bathroom” just to get out of class… However I have a child with a Medical Condition. 1 Kidney and an underdeveloped Bladder. When she feels the Need SHE HAS TO GO!! It took me until she was in the 3rd grade and several doctors letters to make the School and Teachers understand this.. and after them denying her bathroom visits and several wet pants episodes where she had to leave class to change etc. they got the point. It really needs to be on a case by case basis. or have a class bathroom break. but not letting them go when they need to go isn’t a good idea.

  24. royallen says:

    I think it’s a great lesson in self control,and the teacher should be awarded,not chastised

    1. Lia says:

      High-five, Roy!

  25. Anonymous says:

    If Vicky Giasemis had three kids to urinate on themselves last year than she should definitely be held accountable for her authority over them. That is a shame I would definitely have a problem with her for keeping my kids from going to the restroom. The principal has nothing to do with those policies.

    1. Lia says:

      Vicky isn’t the teacher who instituted the policy. There is no indication Ms. Warner had any students urinate on themselves.

  26. nick says:

    it’s a redefining of the same kind of mindless control issues by a teacher in “her” classroom – a phrase i heard echoed over and over as a student and still hear as if they were judge & jury … well gues? i think if anyone “owns” the class – it is the students – the instructor is very very exepndable and replaced and before anyone starts with a ‘favorite’ teacher … our of how many teachers?

    1. Bob says:

      My classroom is just that, mine. I am held responsible for what happens, and I expect my students to follow the rules. If you think I am replaceable, talk to my students. They are very aware of those teachers in the school that have their well-being and education in mind. Favorite teachers are the ones who are well liked, but good teachers are the ones who are respected by their students.

      1. alex says:

        Not ‘yours’ Bob, it belongs to the tax payers and if people would loose that, ‘me massa, me say when you can go and not, when you pick the cotton and not’ attitude, we will talk. I do know children are not all angels so when its excessive, then DO YOUR JOB and notify the parent of the problem.

        1. Bob says:

          As a taxpayer, I am an owner of the classroom. However, unlike the average “owner” I have taken the responsibility to ensure that every student that walks through the door gets the education that they deserve and that all taxpayers expect, myself included. My record and reputation is known throughout the county, and it speaks for itself. The policies I have instituted in my classroom allows for the continuation of the standards of behavior and success that all of my students are capable of achieving, and that I expect. I do not deny anyone the opportunity to use the bathroom. I just ask that they make responsible choices. I also like to stop problems at the lowest level so that parent contact isn’t necessary. I have enough things to keep me busy without calling a parent who has abdicated their responsibility of raising a child. On a side note, please stop embarrasing yourself and edit your posts. Your ignorance is showing.

          1. Lia says:

            Thank you, Bob. I appreciate a breath of fresh air in the classroom. At no point did I correlate your policies with that of pre-Civil War slave owners.

        2. Rena Stone says:

          and when we do “notify the parents of the problem” we get the same reaction you had had, “do your job,” and “it belongs to the taxpayer.” Maybe taxpayers ought to get more involved in schools instead of just complaining about them and berating the teachers. just my two cents.

    2. MsT says:

      Yet the moment little Johnny gets hurt in that classroom the first thing that is said is why wasn’t that teacher in control of his/her classroom. You can’t have it both ways!

  27. Ilya says:

    So what you do is give kids bigger breaks between classes so they actually have time to cool off and go to the bathroom, like they do in Europe. Receiving a lot of instruction clearly can’t take kids beyond reading. US is at the bottom of the list for math scores worldwide. It’s not the hours of “instruction” that you put in, it’s the complexity of material. Harassing kids into not going to bathroom doesn’t prepare MIT or Harvard material.

    1. Lia says:

      It does encourage self-discipline. Since this is making the news, it must be assumed there are no “harrassing policies” in play nation-wide. Therefore, the conclusion may be drawn that lack of policy results in poorer test performance. Maybe we should cross reference bathoom break rules between our nation and China. I’m sure the Chinese are totally lax on on policies that require self control, right? Yet, they do AWESOME one math tests. Give me a break. Hmmm…doesn’t sound too logical.

  28. Dan Te says:

    I remember going to the batroom 17 times a day while in school just to smoke.

  29. think people says:

    So let the kids leave all day long to use the bathroom as they say but then lets tie in student scores with a teachers performance…how will that work fairly?

  30. nb says:

    When you’re on a road trip with children, you encourage them to “hold it” until you find a clean rest room. What’s wrong with that? No one’s punishing them…Geez….can the adult in the classroom leave to use the facilities any time they want? No. We’ve all had to hold it. Stop “poor babying” those kids.

  31. Buttbisquit says:

    What is it with bathrooms and this city ? It is amazing how many people have to suffer every day trying to find a bathroom. Not having access to a bathroom is NY’s dirty little secret. Even places that by LAW !!!! should have a bathroom DON’T.

    If I have to go and people aren’t decent enough to let me use their bathroom out it goes into a public street tough S$%%T. Either get it together get up to 3rd world standards or suffer.

    If you are a child in school and you need to use the bathroom just GET UP and use the bathroom. To heck with the teacher.

    Tell them buttbisquit told you it was ok.

  32. EricG says:

    Yuppies think they control the world

  33. dismiss this nonsense says:

    This is yet another ridiculous ploy by some vendetta-driven imbeciles who unfortunately teach at the school. The principal is a remarkable educator who is consistently the subject of these absurd, and at times libelous, stories. No one bothers to report on less sensational goings-on at the school, like her commitment to providing additional, sorely-needed support to Special Education students or demanding that teachers actually step up to teach their students (as opposed to taking naps under their desks, as they had done under previous administrations).

    Kids abuse going to the bathroom all the time. And in 5th grade? Anyone who has spent real time in an elementary school knows that as kids get older, the bathroom becomes a space for socializing and wasting time. Some can argue that the teacher isn’t engaging them enough – cop out rationale. The teacher’s intentions were not to abuse children, but to ensure that they are at least present for critical instructional time. The implementation of this idea went off-track but the story is being spun to a) generate ratings/readership and b) implicate the principal in yet another scandal by a group of incompetent idiots who should be stripped of their tenure.

  34. Jenise says:

    These stories get me so angry! It is too often that a teacher is automatically attacked for trying to implement something into their classroom to correct a problem. Do teachers now need permission from each parent before any type of discipline? It is a fact that kids often go to the bathroom during class time when they don’t really have to go. Being a teacher, I can attest to this (as can any teacher.) I do not know this teacher and I do not know the exact way that she ran this method but, it seems to me like the kids had a few designated times throughout the day that they were allowed to go to the bathroom. The passes were an incentive used so that the kids would choose to go to the bathroom at the appropriate times and not go just to play around. The parents reactions is as if the kids were not allowed to go all day.. It’s just ridiculous! People seriously need to walk a day in teachers shoes. They would all be in for quite a surprise!

    1. lorG says:

      Absolutely, and my students all carry 16 oz. water bottles all day and drink them before lunch…wonder why they ALL need the bathroom? It has become ridiculous…why didn’t you go during lunch?, well, we were having too much fun, why not go during gym?, well we were playing…so they wait for English Class, lol…can’t make this up.

      1. MissDaisy says:

        You should come to Anne Arundel County in Maryland…the students don’t have time to eat lunch let alone go to the restroom! They get 25 minutes for lunch…period, 3 minutes between classes and 86 minutes in each class…no one is having “Fun” here…My daughter was refused a restroom break in her high school math class that led to real embarassment and stress. Her teacher will never again refuse her because she knows exactly how her parent will react if it ever happens again. You self righteous teachers need a new career!

        1. Bob says:

          Miss Daisy,

          I also get 25 minutes for lunch, and I somehow manage to make it to the restroom. I don’t get the option to leave in the middle of class either. Before I misjudge you as self-righteous, what is the size of the school that your daughter attends? Three minutes may be reasonable if they do not have to travel a great distance.

          1. DJ says:

            3 minutes is not much time to stop at a locker to get books and get to your next class and fit a bathroom break in there – Everyone must realize there are only so many stalls in the bathrooms, everyone cannot go between classes and most teachers don’t allow students to go at lunch either because too many of them want/need to go at one time.

          2. AMD says:

            When I was in school we had 3 minutes to get to our lockers and get to class. The school consisted of 3 floors and 3 buildings. That is definitely not enough time. And if you count in the time to actually use the restroom and wash your hands you are looking at at least 2 minutes there. If you have to go you have to go. If they miss out on the education that is their parent’s fault. But a child no matter what age should NEVER be denied the use of a restroom.

        2. MsT says:

          It sounds like your child is on what we call block scheduling. When I went to high school we were on block scheduling as well. You are a part of the problem. I was pregnant is high school and didn’t need to go to the bathroom as much as some of these children claim they need to go. But when they know that no matter if I am wrong or right my mommy is going to run to the school and cause a scene they will break the rules. So little Suzy was embarrassed? I can assure you that she knew the policy before she decided to take the time she is alotted for break to talk to her friends. She just decided the rules didn’t apply to her so she did what she wanted to do and not what she was supposed to do. This is an even bigger problem in high school because they are closer to adulthood. You are just teaching her that she only has to follow the rules that she likes. These are usually the children that get mad when their parents tell them no or take their cell phones and end up mudering that same parent. You can’t always get what you want and life isn’t always fair. The sooner they learn that lesson the better off they will be.

          1. amber says:

            So you think you are qualified to judge children for not following the rules, and taking advantage of teachers… but you were Pregnant in Highschool…

            Something tells me you weren’t so good at following rules yourself there… you know, like wrap it up every time.

            1. Rob says:

              Pregnant and in high school is different from not following the rules. If it were a rule to use condoms then half of these ignorant people wouldn’t be posting here. Anyway, it brings a smile to my face that you are in danger of peeing in your pants at any moment. Does that make me a horrible person? Probably, but at least I still have my dignity and clean pants.

              1. amber says:

                Are you proud of yourself for thinking lifelong illness and pain is funny?

                BTW, I’m not in danger of urinating on myself, I’m just often in pain and have to take medication.

                And pregnant in Highschool is breaking the rules, unless your parents encouraged under-equipped and immature teens to have kids… however, in America, we all know that is not the case.

                1. Clean Drawers says:

                  Please show me what law/rule/misguided sense of righteousness that you are using for your pregnancy reference.Just because you have been to a doctor does not make you qualified to give medical opinions either. Show me the data of how many children suffer medical issues because of this policy. I am willing to bet that your condition is mainly caused by a combination of genetics and physical structure, and not the policy of your teachers.

                  If you are going to personally attack people, then be prepared for someone to find humor in you misfortune.

                  1. Amber says:

                    Never personally insulted anyone. Just pointing out reality.

                    Am I mistaken? Are high school aged teen pregnancies encouraged in the USA? No? Ohh, thats right, they’re not, because children are terrible parents to children. It is rare that a teen 18 or younger is ready to have a child, mentally or financially. Unless that is you are advocating teen pregnancy? Is that what you point was?

                    The urologist specifically stated that its common for kids to develop lifelong issues because of the habit of holding it in and that it was most likely the cause of my issues. I grew up and went to school in a district with that Zero Tolerance Policy as well as ridiculous bathroom policies, as another posters stated “Blanket Policies never work for everyone”

                    Never claimed to be a medical expert, claimed to legitimately be suffering from a lifelong illness due to the very subject we are all discussing. I don’t know about you, but I take my health seriously and I do what I can to maintain it… that includes in depth discussions with specialists… specialists who know far more about my body than you do.

                    I’m done with you as its unethical to engage in a battle of whits with an unarmed person. You should probably pick up a book or do something constructive with your time rather than finding enjoyment in the suffering of others.

                    1. Clean Drawers says:

                      I actually said personally attacked, but as I am unarmed I will ignore your lack of attention to detail. From your own words(“it was most likely the cause of my issues”) the doctor did not specifically cite a cause. So there are other possible causes. There is no certainty that your issues were caused by “ridiculous bathroom policies.”

                      You still have shown no rule or law against teenage pregnancy. I will grant you that it is ill advised, but it is in no way illegal. Just like your ignorance.

                  2. Amber says:

                    I highly doubt there are many studies on this as many on this thread have shown, most people seem not to care about the suffering of children, they write it off as complaining and whining when often the child is trying to alert you to a serious issue they don’t yet have the vocabulary for.

                    I googled just about every single phrase I could think of regarding a study on children holding their urine due to school rules and how that effects their long term health. So far nothing.

        3. coriolana says:

          Sounds like a very good prison, but a very bad school.

  35. Morisot says:

    Let’s see–20 to 30 kids in a class coming and going as they please–and then you wonder why Johnny can’t read!

  36. Parent says:

    My daughters school gives out very few bathroom passes and if you ask for ‘extra’ you will get in trouble. Even if you are a young girl who is having her period, I believe you get 3 passes for the week. But no prizes here,, just punishment. Coney Island Prep.

    1. MikeD says:

      Your daughter has her period in an elementary school? Isn’t the average age of a 6th grader 10?

      1. R says:

        To MikeD: you need a little education. Yes, some girls in elementary school are getting their periods. Sad really.

        1. coriolana says:

          Some women get it early—it’s genetic, not ‘sad’. I did, just as my mother, at 10.

  37. Phil Frandino says:

    Speaking from experience, I was directly told no less then three times, not to let the children out to pee during a lockdown drill, I didn’t, but one girl needed to. I called the office two times to get an OK. Principal never got back with me. Then all the other wanted to go, (in 5th grade the power of suggestion is big). I said, “In a real situation with an intruder we’d have to adapt. What could we do? I let them screen themselves, pee in the trashcan (those who wanted to…I NEVER FORCED THEM.., gave them sanitary wipes and that was that. Until parents complained and I was fired. LOL. Oh well, there is no way to be a please all please all all the time. Too many kids leave to leave. I think it was creative. If you are holding it to get an eraser, obviously, you have problems your parents should have addressed a long time ago.

  38. moe says:

    We are raising one big freakin’ bunch of sissies. If we were ever in dire straights … I mean, really dire straights, most people in this country would have no clue how to survive. Wah, wah, wah, little Billy can’t disrupt the class to go take a whiz. Wah, wah, wah, Suzy needs to pee every hour on the hour or her bladder will burst.

    Tell you what … let all those lawyers who have sued this country into oblivion take this on. Might as well take NYC and its people for a few more bucks. What’s a few more million added onto our tab?

  39. Teddy D. Parker says:

    Bodily waste must be excreted. ” Holding it in ” can be extremely hazardous to your health. I drove an MTA bus for 30 years, any transit worker will agree.

    1. Jenise says:

      Oh please, these kids are holding it hours on end.

  40. lorG says:

    As a teacher, I sympathize with the parents and students, but trying to let 20 children go in and out of my classroom in 42 minutes becomes unmanageable; I understand the teacher’s frustration. My question : does every 11 year-old need to come to school with 16oz bottles of water every day, and then buy more water at lunch? By 8th period they are bursting. When did it become required for children to drink a quart of water a day, in school? I only allow my students to sip some water if they come from gym, unless it’s 90 degrees outside. There are two sides to this. I don’t remember this “bathroom rush” 20 years ago when everyone didn’t have a bottle of water with them in school all day.

    1. Phil Frandino says:

      Roger that.

    2. Justin says:

      Thank you! But of course the teacher is wrong for wanting them to stay in class to learn. Then if they don’t learn it is our fault. I’m not saying this teacher was right but after awhile you don’t know what else to do your blamed for everything.

    3. says:

      Because water is a necessity and it makes you feel great. When i don;t drink enough water I can totally feel the difference. And you want me to dehydrate myself so it won’t annoy you. Sorry no can do.

      1. lorg says:

        How did we , as a world , survive many years walking around without personal water bottles?
        I remember a time when water was free! Not every single person; man, woman and child carried water bottles and drank water all day long. We didn’t dehydrate. We had juice in the morning, our milk at lunch…we survived until three o’clock. My students come to school every morning with 16 and 20 oz. bottles (some environmentally appropriate, pretty metal ones) of liquid a day.. Children are going to school, not on a camping trip or a hike. When you have 32 children in a room and it’s the end of the day and 20 of them need the bathroom, there is no teaching getting done…it becomes chaotic…and i have this every afternoon. I never refuse a child’s request to use the bathroom, they are 11 and I never want to be responsible for one of my children having an accident, but there are two sides to this story. Twenty years ago, before the invention of “Poland Spring”, I don’t remember this being such an issue, but I see it getting worse and worse every year .

  41. Lucy e says:

    I have a 10 years old and 12 years old in school, the younger one has problem holding it in to the point that if she doesn’t go it’l leak. that’ll be embarrassing for her and any child has the same issue. It used to make me mad when I hear from her that the teacher told her to wait, so I strongly disagree with forcing children to hold it in and delay bathroom trips because it will cause medical problem for them.. My children’s safely and health comes before anything else.

  42. TT says:


    1. Justin says:

      Ha! I am a teacher and hold in 3 days a week. I work for a Catholic school in Manhattan and 3 days a week I have NO break. I am with my class from 8 til 3:15 with no break I even do lunch duty! So teachers do hold it in and it is not fun. As a teacher she took it too far but it is true many students want to leave the class to play no matter how interactive and fun I make the class many want to escape to play in the bathroom they make water bombs, soak toilet paper rolls in water and poop on the middle of the bathroom floor. There are two sides to the story and I understand the teachers frustration but as a teacher I just let them go and I keep a tally of how many times and then I call parents. Some care and some couldn’t care less about their child. Teaching aint for the faint of heart! I used to work in business and always thought that teaching would be a piece of cake boy I was wrong! I challenge any business person to take a crack at it.

      1. Dan Toma says:

        It’s easier for an adult to “hold it” than for a child. Bad analogy.

      2. guest says:

        Former Catholic school teacher. If my students needed to go, they were given permission to go to the toilet or get a drink. One at a time. Because they were in the upper grades, Father assigned them bathroom cleanup duties! Trust me, they preferred staying in class. There were times when a child was ill or had a sudden toilet need and I did not question their need or make them feel embarrassed. Why bully the child? Who can accurately predict every body function? No big deal. Besides, I kept my class fast paced, students were involved and it was rare kids were slipping out. Just remember: Kids are people, too. They are not there for others to bully.

  43. Harry says:

    I am an educator in the Jersey City Public School System. My students are eminded to never ask to go to the bathroom….just say,”I need to use the bathroom now”…..and do so….now. To think, allowing someone else permission to control when another can eliminate body waste. Purely, stupidity the least

    1. Phil Frandino says:

      Yes, but only one at a time, you wait until the other comes back. If you are teaching decent engaging lessons, a student won’t leave to pee.

  44. KL says:

    I am long out of school, but Old Bridge High School in NJ would always be on “pass restriction” when we had too many subs, there was a fight, or it was a Friday. That meant you were not allowed to go to the bathroom except during lunch, gym, or the 4 minute change of classes. Eventually they said you weren’t allowed to go to the nurse either and use the bathroom, you had to be legitimately sick.

    I am long out of high school, but I had years where I had lunch at 12:45 and gym at 1:00. School started at 7:35.

    I used to have a teacher that hung on her wall a supreme court ruling or something that being allowed to go to the bathroom was a privilege and not a right in HUGE letters.

    The few spoil it for the many and people in power often mandate policies they would never want to be subjected to.

    1. Phil Frandino says:

      YOu go before HR, you go maybe once in the am., you get to go on the way or back from lunch, on the way or back from special area, on the way to or back from recess. If you have to go during instructional time……you are sick. Get a Dr’s. note…and fine. Dr.’s will love the extra money.

  45. Celia says:

    This is not the first incident of schools doing this. The Brooklyn School for Global Studies on Baltic Street in Brooklyn has instituted this policy over two years ago over strong objections of the parents, students and even teachers. The reasoning was that a “few” students were using the bathroom excuse as a way to get out of the class to open the doors to let their friends in. Since that time video cameras have been placed in the school with the Assistant Principal and Security monitoring the perimeters. So why are they still prohibiting students from using the bathroom. Bathrooms are not a privilege but a necessity. Have you ever eaten food that has not agreed with you. There is no way a person can hold it just as long as it’s not during the first or last 10 minutes of class. Then to finally be allowed to go and the bathrooms are locked and the AP sends you back to class. As this is a middle school/high school, the kids are still developing not to mention that as an adult if you are constantly holding it in you weaken your bladder muscles. Kids are being treated like barbarians. Your job is to penalize those that are miss behaving and not the entire school. I hope CBS 2 News reads this comment and investigate this school also.

  46. TOM B says:


  47. Tired of wimpiness says:

    maybe there is a link between kids that use trhe bathroom a lot and kids not doing well in school? I bet students that are freqent flyers I am sure do less work and obtain lower grades. Maybe we shouls stop being so soft of a society

    1. Jean says:

      Adults often “hold it in” but we are not discusing adults. Theses are 8, 9 and 10 year old children. Using the bathroom as a hang-out, a place to meet your friends and smoke takes place more in middle and high school when you have free periods. I know, I was one of them. I was in Advanced classes and I went to The Bronx High School of Science. My grades were sky-high. I also Have Crohn’s Disease and was in the bathroom constantly. Teachers know their students and every situation is different. They can use their discretion.

  48. ac says:

    While this schedule does seem particularly rigid with small windows of opportunity, the DOE’s claim that “teachers decide who goes to the bathroom and when” is a false statement- in my school, students may not use the bathroom during period 1, period 8, the period before lunch, or the period after. this leaves period 2, 3, and 7 open, just as long as it’s not during the first or last 10 minutes of either of those periods either. So now we are down to 90 minutes of opportunity, which ought to be fine just as long as 3 other students haven’t already left the room that period, in which case all pass requests are to be denied. So it’s not all that different and this is a schoolwide policy. On the other hand, teachers are told to always allow a child to go if that child explains that it is an “emergency,” so we realize that the policy is meant to limit the desire to just leave the room unless it is truly necessary. This teacher is simply following procedures that she has surely seen before, and would not be so foolish as to deny a legitimate request to leave the room. She is just rewarding those who can be responsible for their own behavior. Believe me, nobody who is of the age to actually read her chart will actually allow themselves to urinate on themselves just to earn an eraser. Let’s be real!!!!

    1. concered adult says:

      Remember AC, these are dumb ass uneducated adults that receive gov’t assistance making all these comments like…oh no you don’t treat my wild, out of control, good for nothing of mine. Please!! Grow up. Get an education and then maybe, just maybe, someone of any importance might listen to your dumb ass.

    2. Phil Frandino says:

      roger that ac

  49. Nick says:

    Just pee in the classroom. Do it at the teacher’s desk. Problem solved in a few days – teachers are slow.

    1. Phil Frandino says:

      See my previous post Nick. LOL.

    2. Justin says:

      Try spending your days working with kids at first it cute but that wears off. Teachers aren’t slow. Come spend a day in my class. I start work at 6:30am my kids come in at 8:00 and I works with them till 3:15 and I stay till about 4:30 every day. Three days a week I have no break with my class I am with them for 7 hours. Cant even go to the bathroom if I needed to. Teachers are not slow come join the fun!

      1. Steve says:

        WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! then quit and find another career whiner. By the way i seriously hope that you’re not a grammar teacher. That is the most childish writing i have seen from a supposed “adult” in a while.

  50. mj says:

    mabe they should try this in congress

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