Students claim toilet clampdown is 'breach of human rights'
Students at a school in Perth, Scotland, have claimed their human rights have been breached by their headteacher, who has banned them from using the toilet during class.
More than 2000 people have signed an online petition, which calls the toilet clampdown a "breach of human rights" and "idiocy", calling for the headteacher to apologise, after a student allegedly wet himself as a result of the "no toilet" policy.
"Human right" to blast a deuce during class
Pupils at the Perth Grammar School were banned by the headteacher, Fiona Robertson, from taking toilet breaks during class. A spokesperson for the Perth and Kinross Council said this was because of a toilet problem at the school:
“There has been an ongoing issue with a large number of pupils asking to be excused during class time," she told the Daily Record. But kids could get a key from reception "in emergencies".
In response to the policy, kids at the school set up an online petition, explaining in no uncertain terms how body functions work, and why stopping these body functions from being performed when they need to be performed is a breach of human rights.
"As students of Perth Grammar School ( Scotland ), we were apprehensive when it was discussed that we would be receiving a new head teacher after our previous teacher left and unfortunately, as it turns out we had every right to be apprehensive. As she has voiced her grievances over staff being named online we will refer to her as Mrs X. Though our anger is justified - this is peaceful protest and an exercise of free speech.
This is not an attack - merely our right as students, citizens and human beings. The Problem - As of last week, Mrs X decided that students would no longer be able to use the toilet facilities during class time and proceeded to lock all bathrooms to prevent us from using said facilities. The toilets were then promised to be unlocked at interval and lunch but so far this has failed to happen.
The motive behind this idiocy seems sensible. Mrs X does not approve of the number of people being excused from class and fears people may ''hide'' in the bathrooms to prevent going to subjects they dislike and fair enough, this does happen.
However, preventing us from one of our basic human rights is NOT the way to solve the problem. Let's explore the issues that restricting the toilets cause: We won't be able to concentrate. With restricted access to toilet facilities students will avoid keeping hydrated and therefore lose concentration and consequently fall behind in class. Same goes for those sitting with a full bladder, it effects our education. Straight forward biology.
There's an incredibly large number of girls in our school and what do girls do? WE BLEED. EVERY SINGLE MONTH. FROM OUR VAGINAS. I don't know about you but, personally i'd rather not sit with blood dripping down my leg.
Aye it's not a pretty picture but it's a fact of life.
Though it's advised you change a tampon every four hours, there are girls that must change more frequently due to a heavy flow. Mrs X offers a solution by saying that when dealing with our monthly requirement we visit matron, but a jumbo pad and an ice pack doesn't suit everyone.
Self - Esteem & Confidence. Some students have low self esteem and due to this simple tasks such as asking to go to the bathroom is daunting enough. Now it has been made near impossible. An example of this is the alleged case of a young student that was prevented from being let out of class, unable to penetrate locked doors and too scared to ask again, and consequentially wet themselves.
It is obvious to see how emotionally scarring this can be and how it may stick with one for a long time. Is it okay to destroy a child's self esteem purely for convenience?
All we ask is that, when we reach 100 signatures; the new rule be revoked and Mrs X to offer a public apology to those who have been hit hardest and to the rest of the students.
Our bodies do not belong to anyone else, it is our duty alone to look after said bodies and that includes relieving the body of waste product whenever the body is ready to do so. No one should be able to take that right away; please stand with us and help us take back our human right. Thank you, everyone. It's time to free the bladder."
The petition claims a pupil had wet themselves as a result of the policy, and even claims that the toilets remained locked up at lunchtime, and left students thinking about their bladders the whole time, rather than class.
Parents, pupils and heads of other schools have all responded to the petition, condemning the headteacher for the ban:
Miss Robertson sent out a special email newsletter to parents to condemn the “inappropriate and completely unnecessary postings on social media" about the toilet policy.
At the time of writing, the petition is closing in on 3,000 signatures. You can access the petition here.