SAN BERNARDINO, CA. – “The toilets are not locked today.”
That’s what Saint Bernardine School district spokesperson Ginger Ontiveros told FOX 11 Thursday afternoon.
It comes a day after our FOX 11 coverage highlighted claims by parents and students that bathroom access was severely limited, sometimes to once a month.
School district officials insisted there was no restroom policy and that teachers, who dictate restroom passes, were told that students should have access to restrooms when ‘they need it. At the same time, they admitted bathrooms were locked in “changeover times” when students go from class to class.
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California’s Education Code states that “the school shall keep all restrooms open during class hours when students are not in class” with temporary closures “for student safety”. why the administrators say they closed the toilets between classes.
But what parents and students told FOX 11 goes against the code and borders on punitive measures from some teachers who would even give extra credit to students who don’t use their passes for the bathroom.
Today students at some schools started checking in, telling us that the toilets were unlocked. FOX 11 has not yet heard from all of the parents who have contacted us, but is monitoring the situation. Some students say they fear reprisals from their teachers.
Ontiveros says that apart from the opening of the bathrooms: “All of our schools have drinking fountains and water bottle refill stations that students can access through campus. which students should be able to use the toilet whenever they need to.”