schools.jpgLast October, SFUSD associate superintendent Kevin Truitt sent out a memo to SF Schools stating that “students should not be denied access to the restrooms at any time during the day; Students do not need to explain or justify their need to use the restroom; Students are not restricted to a certain number of bathroom visits per class per semester.”

In other words, SF schools should have free range students; classrooms where students may leave to “use the restroom,” any time, no questions asked.

As the Chron’s CW Nevius reports, many teachers only now heard about this controversial policy and, despite Truitt’s explicitly asking administrators to have teachers follow it in his memo, the proposed policy isn’t actually an official one.

Regardless of its status, teachers and parents are taking note of the potential free bathroom rule, and many aren’t happy with it.

Already truancy is an issue in SF, but what about the other activities that can still be achieved on school grounds? Concerned parents and faculty cite vandalism, use of cellphones, and just plain missing important parts of class.

Last week in Oakland, Oakland Unified School District officials investigated an incident that occurred involving three 8-10 year old students who were found “in partial states of undress” at an elementary school bathroom.

According to district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe, who says she’s received about 50 complaints about the policy, there are consequences in place for those who violate or abuse the policy although many, like Nevius, think even that’s not enough.

Officials are now telling Nevius (who’s telling the rest of us) “the policy won’t be final until it is approved by the Board of Education. Kevin Truitt, a district associate superintendent, e-mailed (Nevius) to say that the policy is ‘a work in progress and I am still collecting feedback.’”

Update 6/3 (Eve Batey): In an email to the Appeal, SFUSD spokesperson Heidi Anderson takes issue with Nevius’ characterization of the issue, saying that it “refers to a Board of Education resolution that is not yet approved. It was brought forth by a youth member of the Board and is sponsored by a Board Commissioner.”

When asked if she expressed similar concerns to the Chronicle, the originators of the piece this article was based on, Anderson said “Chuck Nevius is a columnist and as such we did not ask for corrections to his opinions. As I mentioned previously, most of the proposed policy is state law, which Nevius did not note in his column.”

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the author

Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

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