LONDON — Protests are becoming a weekly occurrence across America, but a recent demonstration in the U.K. concerned something far dirtier than politics.
According to the Independent, a two toilet break limit at a local North Yorkshire high school had students up in arms, so much so that police were called to maintain peace.
Forty students congregated on the Bedale High School sports fields Friday morning to express anger over the new rule.
According to the rule, more than 550 students would only be allowed a bathroom break between 11:05 a.m. and 11:25 a.m., and again between 12:25 p.m. and 12:45 p.m.
Officials with the school said there are possible exemptions to the rule, including students providing medical proof of needing extra breaks.
A letter sent to parents notes that “there is no access to the main building (where the toilets are located) after 12:45 p.m.”
One outraged parent posted on Facebook about the school denying her daughter the right to use the toilet.
“My daughter had stayed behind in her class to do extra work and then went to the toilet at 12.45 p.m. but staff wouldn’t let her go,” she wrote.
The mother, who chose to remain anonymous, added, “It’s appalling, the fact that if they have got medical issues they have got to show a pass, they are making them a target for bullies, it’s just degrading.”
Officials with the school maintained their firm stance on the issue, saying the move is part of a broader behavioral plan meant to crack down on reducing the numbers of students outside of classrooms during lesson time.
“As part of this the school has reminded students that toilets are freely accessible during specific periods at lunchtime and break time but that students who need the toilet during lessons, or need access for medical reasons, will always be given access on request,” officials said. “Toilets are therefore accessible at all times.”