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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

School libraries should all have restrooms

Here is my rant for today. I believe designers of school libraries must include restrooms inside libraries. Those who think just having bathrooms down the hall and at corners in middle schools don’t really know how schools operate. School libraries should have restrooms in them. Why? Let me just name a few reasons.

  • Preschool story time
  • Public schools with exceptional learners (previously known as those with special needs) have babies joining the school throughout the schoolyear as soon as they turn 3 years old
  • Teenagers
  • Middle school administrators that don’t allow students to go to the restroom during class periods forget that watches aren’t wrapped around bladders
  • Teachers who have hall duty during changes NEVER are allowed to go to the bathroom because leaving students unsupervised is a violation
  • Bladder infections
  • Gyms have bathrooms because everyone knows the amount of activity you engage increases your likelihood of needing facilities
  • Students who didn’t need to go to the restroom when they left their classroom 400 yards away suddenly do when they reach the library
  • Sitting still can trigger the urge to use the facilities
  • Walking around can increase the urge to use the facilities
  • Standing in line can increase the urge to use the facilities
  • Menstrual cycles
  • Kidney  infections
  • Hallway passes
  • Campus security monitors forbidding trips to bathrooms
  • Pregnant teachers who desert their classes to race across the building for the faculty bathroom
  • Pregnant students
  • Senior citizen volunteers (and quite possibly the librarian)
  • Gangs of students who intimidate soloists from dashing in during class change
  • Time lost instructing students to write passes to the campus supervisors
  • Time lost while explaining in writing to the principal why a student was allowed to leave the library to travel down the hallway unsupervised to the bathroom despite the fact that said student’s parent has marched into school numerous times to demand potty-equity for her child
  • Wet carpet stains after a child is denied the opportunity
  • Wet puddles on wooden chairs hidden by older students
  • Traumatized teens with wet pants who must spend the next 6 years of their life being referred to as the kid who wet his/her pants
  • School cafeteria food that sometimes triggers <ahem!> diarrhea

Since I do not have a bathroom in the library, how do I handle student requests when they are jumping up and down, crossing their legs, and bending over in agony? Hurry up and get across the hallway before it’s too late! Come on, let’s use some common sense. I’ll stand in the doorway if I have to, but I’m not going to humiliate a child for a very natural bodily function.

Students do not interrupt me to ask for a pencil. They know where the can of pencils are and simply go get one to take care of their needs, and then get back on task ASAP. Wouldn’t having a bathroom remove another set of interruptions to our teaching? I can only dream.


  1. I concur.