Parents furious after school limits toilet breaks

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There is no doubt some kids go out of their way to come up with reasons to get out of class. But one school's attempt to stop lessons being interrupted by frequent trips to the toilet has been met with outrage.   

Students have taken to the grounds of a high school in North Yorkshire to protest the school's new policy, which limits students to two toilet breaks per day.

The controversial new rules stipulate that students are only able to visit the loo during two time periods: between 11.05am and 11.25am, and 12.25pm and 12.45pm.

That's right - if you need to use the toilet after lunch, you need to ask for special permission, reports ITV news.

On Friday, around 60 students of Bedale High School assembled on the school's playing fields to protest the ruling, resulting in police being notified.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police told The Independent that while officers attended the school, they advised staff that it "was not a police matter".

Parents have also taken to Facebook in protest, slamming the "humiliating and undignified" decision. One mum noted that it was "ridiculous" to restrict access to toilets outside of designated times - and a "breach of human rights".

Mother-of-three, Emma Cox, told Metro that the ban has made her 14-year-old son, Tyler, who has special needs, "dread" going to school.

"The pupils are saying it's turning into a prison camp," Ms Cox said.

"My son has a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis, learning difficulties, and ADHD and he is supposed to be able to drink and use the toilet during the day.

"I called the school and they said I need a medical note to say he needs to use the bathroom, but that's just setting him apart from all the other kids. It opens him up to bullying.

"I can't help but think of the health ramifications of all this. Most people know that you have to keep hydrated to stay focused."

Holly Harrison, a 15-year-old student who helped organise the protest, said, "Some girls had bled on to the seats [with their periods] and were mortified that they had to sit there for the rest of the lesson.

"Now 45 pupils have been excluded for this – it's disgraceful when we have our GCSEs in 10 weeks' time."

According to a statement on Bedale High School's website, the policy change is part of a "new behavioural code" to "improve teaching and learning in the school".

The school clarified that while "toilets are freely accessible during specific periods at lunchtime and break time" students who need to use the loo during lessons, or need to access toilets due to medial reasons, "will always be given access on request".

"Toilets are therefore accessible at all times," the statement reads.

The school also noted that its 580 students and parents were informed of the changes before they took effect, adding, "many have given supportive feedback and view it as a positive step".