The Bathroom Pass
Do you remember the routine for going to the bathroom in elementary school? I sure do. It went a little something like this:
1. Raise your hand
2. Ask: May I use the bathroom?
3. If the answer was yes, walk up and grab the appropriate bathroom pass of which there were two options—-
Boys and Girls and many of them had a “gender accepted” color on them ranging in some sort of blue or pink.
My question is do we need to continue this practice? Sure, keep the bathroom pass it’s the responsibility of the teacher to know where students are. Let’s change the decision though.
Instead of having a pass with Boys and Girls written on them consider the following alternatives:
1. Have two passes that just say: Bathroom Pass 1 and Bathroom Pass 2 or Hall pass
2. Have a sign that has student names on clothes pins and have them move the pin from “in class” to “bathroom or “nurse.” Then, you know where they are and are holding students responsible for tracking where they are going.
Source: Daily Teacher Tips
In some schools, bathroom passes aren’t used anymore and the whole class has designated bathroom breaks. In this case, consider not lining students up by boys and girls. Have them line up by number order or simply in a line and come back when their done.
By taking out the need to gender everything all students can just grab a pass they need and move on. It’s simple steps like this that create a more inclusive classroom.
What are some other easy steps you can take as a classroom teacher to create a safe and inclusive classroom for LGBTQ youth?