Reusable Bathroom Passes and Phone Homes Only Spread Germs

SHS teachers should use paper passes to avoid spreading germs

SHS teachers should use paper passes to avoid spreading germs

Halle McCormack, Staff Writer

When a student needs to use the bathroom, get water, or leave the classroom, they must take a bathroom pass of some sort with them. No matter if it is an SHS bathroom lanyard, a paintbrush from art class, or a personalized sign, teachers are only asking students to bring one more thing back to their classroom: germs. 

Since passes are becoming increasingly enforced, you see students walking the halls carrying passes more often. Some teachers require students to bring them into the bathroom, where there are no places to put them. Subsequently, there is no way to know what the students are doing with them. When 100s of students are using the bathroom a day, reusing the same passes constantly, it becomes a health issue. Phones, which everyone regularly holds and usually brings with them, are considered one of the dirtiest items. They are covered with bacterial germs that spread quickly to other surfaces. Bringing your phone and bathroom pass into the school bathroom is a recipe for sickness. So why would anyone want to enforce carrying reusable passes around?

If teachers and administrators alike see a need for students to go to the bathroom with a pass, they should advise students to be taking “paper passes” that they can throw away when they get back to the classroom. 

With health precautions becoming increasingly more prominent in the past few months, it makes sense for students to be allowed to take a trip down the hall without a pass alerting others where they are. SHS junior Carly Prudente agrees, saying that to limit the spread of germs, we must be “eliminating anything that involves multiple people touching one thing.”

During the past years, phone use has become more prominent in the school. As a method to rid students of distraction, some teachers have adopted a new policy: phone homes. These “homes,” which hang in each classroom, have individual pockets for everyone’s phones. Although an excellent solution to phone distraction, this system furthers the spread of germs from phone to phone as students use them throughout the day.

Recently, more teachers have been offering paper passes. However, it would be more useful to provide these passes to students during the entire school year–not just to prevent COVID-19 from spreading and the pandemic it is causing. 

If the SHS administration wants to promote a cleanly and healthy lifestyle–especially with the fast spread of viruses and bacteria going on in the world–then they should discontinue promoting reusable passes and phone homes alike. Whenever Scituate students return to the school, precautions to minimize the spread of bacteria should be established.