School In Northern Ireland Bans Year 11 Pupils From Taking Toilet Breaks During Lessons

A school in Northern Ireland has banned their Year 11 students from going to the toilet when they are taking lessons. 

The Ulidia Integrated College in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, recently sent an email to parents saying that due to a lot of people in Year 11 vandalizing the toilets and breaching the coronavirus protocols saying they have banned the students from taking toilet breaks when teachers are carrying out classes.

They also had a note from their parents countersigned by a teacher. 

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According to a report published by the LadBible, students would only be allowed to go to bathrooms and toilets during breaks and lunch times.

In a statement that was shared with Belfast Live, Michael Houston, the principal of the  Ulidia Integrated College in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, said:

As a rights respecting school, Ulidia Integrated College is in full support of the Period Dignity Project, which refers to the accessibility and availability of essential care needed to support a period in conjunction with the removal and breaking of stigma and taboo around periods. Education is a key factor in breaking the stigma surrounding periods and promoting respect, understanding and open discussions about what people may experience. Following repeated incidents of vandalism and breaches of Covid-19 safeguards in the toilets, many of which occurred during lesson times, some facilities had to be closed, replaced or repaired. We want to ensure that all pupils in the particular year group affected are always given access to clean and sanitary facilities during their period.

They said that toilets are going to operate on a one-in one-out policy for Year 11 pupils.

Parents of the students were told that they currently have a zero tolerance policy.

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The rule was implemented from January 21, 2022. 

Parent Ciaran McCauley spoke out about the new rules on BBC Radio Ulster’s Evening Extra.

During the interview, Ciaran said: 

My son is in Year 12 at the school and he came home on Friday last and was quite concerned because he had become aware of the email that had gone out to the parents of Year 11 students. It doesn’t affect my son directly but he was able to empathise with the issues that might be impacting the other students. He complained that the toilets were being locked and students and parents had been asked to supply notes. If the children needed to access toilets if they were on their period, they had to bring a note in, have it counter-signed by a teacher and dated. I thought it was regressive and led to embarrassing situations for kids. Unfortunately we live in a society where periods still have a stigma attached to them and they’re still an embarrassment for many.

No further explanation was released by the school. 

What are your thoughts on the school banning going to washrooms? Let us know what your thoughts are by leaving a comment in the comments section below!

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