School bans Year 11 pupils from going to toilet during lessons in ‘zero tolerance’ approach

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Ulidia Integrated College in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland, has defended its strict toilet policy in which toilets function as an in/out policy during recess and lunch: if students want to use the toilet during lessons, they must have a medical card. or exemption

Ulidia Integrated College in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland, has defended its strict grooming policy
Ulidia Integrated College in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland, has defended its strict grooming policy

A secondary school prohibits Year 11 pupils from going to the toilet during lessons due to Covid-19 breaches and vandalism.

Ulidia Integrated College in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland, has defended its strict toilet policy where toilets function as an in and out policy during break and lunchtime.

Requests to use the restroom during class time will be denied unless the student shows a medical card or waiver to the teacher, parents were informed via email.

Additionally, pupils who need to use the bathroom outside of specified times during their term will need a note from their parents, which will then be dated and countersigned by their teacher, BelfastLive reports.

Parents were informed via email that requests to use the restroom during class time will be denied unless the student shows a medical card or waiver to the teacher (stock image)
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The school said it has been dealing with various issues among a “growing number of Year 11s”, including disrespect to staff, misuse of toilets, uniform breaches, Covid-19 breaches and vandalism.

The school has said that since January 21 it was implementing a “zero tolerance approach”.

One parent, Ciaran McCauley, told BBC Radio Ulster’s Evening Extra on Thursday: “My son is in year 12 at school and he came home last Friday and was quite worried because he had noticed the email that had been Sent to parents of 11th graders.

“It doesn’t directly affect my son, but he was able to empathize with the issues that might be affecting the other students.

Ciaran thinks bathroom policy is ‘unfair’ and ‘wrong’ (stock image)
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“She complained that the bathrooms were locked and students and parents had been asked to provide notes. If the kids needed access to the bathrooms if they had their period, they had to bring a note, have a teacher endorsed. and dated”.

Ciaran believes it is an “unfair” and “wrong” policy.

She added: “I thought it was regressive and led to embarrassing situations for children. Unfortunately, we live in a society where periods still have a stigma attached to them and remain an embarrassment for many.”

The school has said it has implemented a “zero tolerance approach” since January 21 (file image)
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Image:

Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Ciaran initially thought the email was a rumor, but when he contacted the school, they confirmed it.

In a statement, Principal Michael Houston said, “As a rights-respecting school, Ulidia Integrated College fully supports the Period Dignity Project, which addresses the accessibility and availability of essential care needed to support a period along with the removal and break the stigma and taboo around periods.

“Education is a key factor in breaking down the stigma surrounding periods and promoting respect, understanding and open discussions about what people may experience.

“Following repeated incidents of vandalism and violations of Covid-19 safety measures in restrooms, many of which occurred during school hours, some facilities had to be closed, replaced or repaired.

“We want to ensure that all students in the particular year group affected always have access to clean and sanitary facilities during their term.”

Mr. Houston added that the measures are temporary and protective, only relevant to pupils in a single year group who have to leave during lessons, as the facilities are available free of charge before school, during break and lunch, at the end of the day and between lessons as needed.

He added: “Furthermore, all single-access bathrooms are also open to all students all day, every day, without exception.”

It comes two months after a Co Down primary school came under fire for its toilet policy after it emerged there were only three toilets for 1,100 pupils.

The toileting rules imposed at Glenlola Collegiate School in Bangor were labeled “draconian.”

The Mirror Online has contacted the school for comment.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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