1. We have 5 minutes between 1st/2nd periods and 5th/6th periods, and 10 minutes between 2nd and 3rd periods. Lunch is between 4th and 5th, and school is over after 6th.
2. If 5 minutes isn't enough--if there's a line at the restroom, for example--check with me before the 1-minute bell and then go hit the bathroom. I won't mark you tardy.
Extreme emergencies? Sure. But no one has more than one extreme emergency a year. Sick? Just let me know quietly before class starts, and then you don't even need to ask--just get up and run out the door if you need to.
Expecting a student to be in class for 50-some minutes isn't unreasonable. I teach most of the period, and expect students to take advantage of my instruction.
I consider myself exceedingly reasonable on this subject. But could anyone be this unreasonable? Really?
Update, 5/1/07: Here's a little more detail, as well as the aftermath.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — School officials on Monday suspended a 14-year-old boy who said he had to urinate in a bottle after his science teacher refused to let him use the restroom. The teacher was being transferred to another school.
"I can't believe they don't believe me," student Michael Patterson said in
a telephone interview after he was given the five-day suspension. "I have no reason to lie. What I said happened, happened."
If the kid lied, why is the teacher being transferred? If the kid didn't lie--well, I'm not sure what to make of that. He should know not to pee in a bottle in class, even if told to do so.
Update #2, 5/4/07: And then there's this:
MAGNOLIA, Ohio (AP) -- A sixth-grader who was denied permission to use the restroom while taking a state achievement test this week had an accident in class, and a school administrator blamed an overzealous teacher.
The shame brought to the student, who had to urinate, was an unfortunate outcome of efforts to prevent cheating, said Sandy Valley Local Schools Superintendent David Janofa.
Update #3, 6/18/14: I've modified my rules a bit in the years since I wrote this post. Now my requirement is "not while I'm teaching". Students can still check with me before the 1-minute bell and not be marked late to class. Once I'm done with my direct instruction and they have time to work independently, I'm not going to stop a kid who says they need to use the restroom.