To pee or not to pee: that is the question


With the introduction of yet another new bathroom policy, it’s no wonder students are frustrated. The “20/20” policy only allows bathroom access after the first 20 minutes of class and before the last 20 minutes of class. Including the 5-minute transition times (in which most students don’t have time to use the restroom), there are many 45-minute periods throughout the day in which students cannot access a bathroom. The new policy raises many questions. How will students stay hydrated without being tardy to class? Is it even possible to get enough water while still following the “20/20” rule?

There are many different theories on how much water to drink per day, but one commonly accepted idea is the body weight ratio. In other words, people should drink about half an ounce of water each day for every pound they weigh. The average weight of a teenage girl is 120 pounds, and for a teenage boy it is 150. This means that on average, girls should be drinking a little under two liters of water a day and boys a little over two liters. For reference, a normal-size CamelBak contains three-fourths of a liter.

Of course, not all of this water should be consumed during the school day. To simplify, students should be drinking one full water bottle during the school day and one after school to maintain healthy hydration. Using the idea that a bathroom break will be needed about an hour after drinking water, it is possible to formulate a schedule of when to hydrate each day.

For first and second period, this schedule is the same for all lunches. Students should stop drinking water at 6:25 every morning and start again at 6:45 to avoid the first bathroom-free 20 minutes. Students should avoid beverages between 7:30 and 8:15, and should stop again at 9:35.

The hydration schedule becomes more complex for third period with three different lunches.

Students with A Lunch can start drinking water again at 9:35 and should stop at 10:10. Lunch starts at 10:35, when students should be encouraged to drink until 11:25.

B Lunch students should put down the bottle from 9:35 until 10:15, when it is safe to drink again until 10:50. Lunch begins at 11:15, but be warned: there is only a 10 minute window to use the bathroom in the second half of class (from 12:15 to 12:25), so students should try to stop sipping at 11:25 or just completely skip the drink at lunch.

For C Lunch students, the only water period begins at 9:55 and stretches until 10:45.

The next water period for all students, regardless of lunch, begins at 12:10 (which also marks the beginning of C Lunch). All efforts to hydrate should cease at 12:58 and students should begin drinking again at 1:18 only if they have no activities right after school. When the bell rings at 2:18, everyone else is free to pee.

Obviously, there are more complications to this system, like teachers who limit bathroom use and how far the bathroom is from a student’s classroom. The introduction of a new ID system will also limit bathroom use for those in the trailers, as all the doors to the main building will be locked except the front entrance. But overall, making sure to drink a full water bottle during these designated times is the best way to ensure a student stays healthy and hydrated without losing any exemptions over it.