Internet Split Over High School Teacher's 'Infuriating' Bathroom Policy

A photo of one California high school art teacher's "infuriating" bathroom procedure has gone viral online.

The photo was posted in Reddit's "Mildly Infuriating" forum on Wednesday by u/Slow-Spot2906, one of the teacher's supposed students. The post has amassed over 35,000 upvotes and thousands of comments from Redditors who couldn't agree as to whether the policy was "bulls**t" or reasonable.

Per the policy, restroom passes are "intended for emergency use only." However, if a student determines that their need to use the bathroom is, in fact, an emergency, they have to request a bathroom pass and then "relinquish" their cell phone.

Before they leave, the teacher will ask the student a "quick question," which, as u/Slow-Spot2906 clarified in the comments section of their post, tends to be an art-related trivia question the student has to answer upon returning to the classroom.

Teenager in bathroom
Here, a stock photo of a teenager in a bathroom. A photo of one high school teacher's "infuriating" bathroom procedure has gone viral online. Brian Niles/istock

Once this question has been asked, the student is free to go, but they have to be back within eight minutes. After the student has returned and provided their answer to the trivia question, they can "retrieve" their phone and take their seat.

"Realize that excessive EMERGENCY trips to the restroom will be cause to contact parent/guardian out of concern for possible health issues," the policy warned before listing the final "step" in the procedure—"experience relief."

"The time limit's pretty messed up [in my opinion] only because I have medical problems and have vanished for half an hour+ at restaurants before due to bathroom issues," u/Slow-Spot2906 said in a comment, adding: "It's not just this [procedure] that's infuriating...he's known for being rude."

IBS in Teens

Redditor u/Slow-Spot2906 said they have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)—"a gastrointestinal disorder that causes pain or discomfort, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation," the Cleveland Clinic said.

Dr. Sophia Patel told the clinic that IBS is "fairly common" among children and teens. One study estimated that "14 percent of high schoolers have symptoms indicative of IBS," which can be pretty "disruptive."

"IBS can affect [a child's] quality of life, their day-to-day functioning, and whether they're able to attend school, play sports and hang out with their friends," Patel said.

Those with IBS may use the restroom more frequently than those without it Dr. Spencer Kroll told Optum Perks, adding that some of those who suffer from IBS "can have 20-plus bowel movements a day." Additionally, constipation—another common symptom of IBS—may prolong a person's trip to the bathroom.

With this in mind, it's perhaps understandable why u/Slow-Spot2906 finds their art teacher's bathroom procedure so "infuriating."

Redditors React

Of course, u/Slow-Spot2906 isn't the only person bothered by it. Hundreds of commenters slammed what they termed a "bulls**t" procedure.

"You can't declare something an emergency and then make them wait whilst you ask a quick question. Your school is bulls**t." u/foxleigh81 wrote.

"There's a special place in hell for teachers with ridiculous bathroom policies," u/Yyver said.

"I have been dealing with IBS since high school. F**k this controlling bulls**t," u/Nkechinyerembi added.

Others, however, said the policy was perfectly reasonable.

"None of this is actually that unreasonable or infuriating. Oh no! Is there a question...And you get eight minutes? Let me clutch my pearls," u/JediAcademyBaseball said.

"Oh hell, you tikes are so precious," u/burnvict1m wrote. "Quit yer whining and just stay in class."

Newsweek reached out to u/Slow-Spot2906 for comment.

Other Viral Moments

Another "Mildly Infuriating" poster went viral last week after she shared a sign found in her office bathroom, banning women from defecating at work.

Redditors slammed an Applebee's supervisor in early August for hitting on a married job applicant via text.

And back in April, commenters slammed a mother for sharing screenshots of her adult child's bloodwork on Facebook.