It is time to get rid of permanent bathroom passes


In recent weeks, many students and staff members have been missing school due to illness. According to the Attendance Office, the average percent of attendance of students between the weeks of February 4 through March 8 is 89.6%. 

Although cold and flu season is unavoidable, students and faculty at MV can take some definite steps do to decrease the spread of germs.

The main solution is to wash your hands. The CDC recommends washing one’s hands before, during, and after preparing food, before eating food, after caring for someone who is sick, after using the bathroom, after blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing, and after touching garbage. The two big ideas to consider for us here at MV is washing your hands before you eat, and washing them after you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze. Approximately 99.9 percent of germs are killed when you wash your hands, and most viruses and infections are consumed through eating. Want to not get sick? Wash your hands before you eat.

Another factor that many believe come into play with the rise of sickness is the use of permanent bathroom passes. Due to rules in place that require students to have a pass to use the bathroom or be in the hallway at any time besides passing periods, some have found it easier to find a random item and designate it to be the “pass.” These items include lanyards, wooden objects athletic balls, and other items that relate to the class. These items are used each time a student leaves the room, and for the most part, that is to go to the bathroom.

The amount of germs that must be on the permanent passes is crazy high. And, unless the teacher is disinfecting them off after every use, the germs remain on them and sit in the classroom waiting to be used again. When the student gets to the bathroom, what do you think they do with the pass? It is set on the floor. The floor. Influenza is a viral infection that spreads by air. Just the fact that the bathroom pass is sitting in class when it isn’t being used is a huge health hazard. Not to mention, bathrooms are known to carry germs like fecal bacteria, influenza, streptococcus, E. coli, hepatitis, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), salmonella, shigella and norovirus, just to name a few. Do we really want to keep these germs living on a permanent bathroom pass? No wonder so many students are getting sick.

Thankfully, solutions exist. Here at MV, we print passes by the hundreds for use. They are pink, small, made of paper, and most importantly, disposable. Teachers: If a student needs to use the restroom, initial the pink pass and let them go. Then, after they come back, they throw it away. See? no crazy viruses are looming in the corner of the classroom on a disgusting “permanent pass.” This solution, of course, is not the cure to cold and flu season but it will certainly cut down on the spread of germs. Eliminating permanent passes, and the continued efforts to wash hands before eating should significantly cut down on the spread of germs.