About 4 1/2 years ago I wrote this post about letting students use the restroom during class time, and based on recent observations, it's time to update that post.
Sometimes during my prep period I go out and take a walk around campus. It clears my head, gets me out of the classroom and into the sunlight, and it does my recovering knee some good. Invariably during these perambulations I run into students on their way to, or returning to class from, the restroom--and very often these students are on their phones, a clear violation of our school's policy on cell phone use (which is that they can be used during our morning 13-minute break and during lunch).
In the post linked above, several commenters took genuine issue with limiting students' ability to come and go as they please. In other words, they thought that a "bathroom pass" should be treated as a "get out of class free" card. Anything less is, to them, a violation of human rights.
OK, I get that. How about this: if a student wants to leave class to use the restroom, they leave their phone with me. No human rights violation that way.
And I'll bet the number of bathroom requests drops dramatically :-)