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Feminism: chat

Period passes

13 replies

Fawkesfromtheflames · 23/09/2021 11:00

At neice's school the female students have to visit the male head of year to request a period pass (purple card) in order to be allowed by teachers to use the bathroom during lessons.

This feels very wrong to me for a number of reasons:

  • Teenage girls disclosing their menstrual status to a male teacher just feels very uncomfortable/unfair
  • Having to show a teacher the period pass effectively announces that they're having their period to the entire class, opening them up to bullying/personal comments

-I just don't feel that anyone should have to disclose their menstrual status/personal information in order to access a toilet

Can anyone shares their thoughts- tell me I'm wrong or help concoct a cohesive argument to challenge the school with please?
OP posts:

lazylinguist · 23/09/2021 11:02

Shock That's appalling. Teacher here, and I've never heard of such a thing in any of the schools I've worked in.


Whatwouldscullydo · 23/09/2021 11:09

Oh gosh.

How humiliating ffs.

Who the fuck not only thought that up but volunteered to be in charge like that Hmm


BananaPB · 23/09/2021 11:10

Our school has something called a toilet pass (you can use the loo mid lesson no questions asked) and I would expect someone who won't have access to the loo because of their period (heavy flow and double period) to be granted one of those rather than one specifically for periods.

My son needed a toilet pass for medical reasons for a year and the school took my word for it and there was no embarrassing questioning of the pupil.


PermanentTemporary · 23/09/2021 11:13

Clearly they are trying to manage some other problem - bullying in the loos or persistent ducking out of classes - but God that's a terrible solution.

I have no idea what the answer is, not a teacher, but I'd agree that's a solution from hell.


BananaPB · 23/09/2021 11:14

How do they manage mid lesson loos for other medical reasons ? I think the ones specifically for periods is weird and embarrassing.


Hopesakiller · 23/09/2021 11:38

I'd have loads of questions to ask.

Do they need to prove they are on their period/how is this done
If no proof is needed then what is the point, you are trusting them to be truthful in accessing the card so why not trust them to be truthful about needing to access a toilet

Is the issuing of cards recorded, this I would find very uncomfortable, it is the equivalent of recording medical information. then do they have a duty to notice abnormalities and act? How securely is it stored? Is it legal?
If it is not stored, then again, what is the point? With no record of who has them and when they are returned they can't control anything.

If someone was using it all month how would that be handled? A sign they are abusing the system or a sign of a medical issue. What if someone hasn't used a card in months, or never used one will it fuel gossip among class mates


Whatwouldscullydo · 23/09/2021 11:42

If it is not stored, then again, what is the point? With no record of who has them and when they are returned they can't control anything

When I was at school the only way to get out of having a shower after pe was to say u were on your period. One time I was just packing up after getting changed and the pe teacher started screaming at someone about how she couldn't be on her period as she qaa on her period 2 weeks ago.

If the staff in question have little idea about cycles and how irregular etc they can be then will this lead to teachers exerting power thinking they know best and further humiliation of the poor girl in question


Happy36 · 23/09/2021 11:48

A good plan for all teaching staff and students is to have sufficient breaks between lessons for everyone who needs to to use the toilet. Toilets can be supervised where necessary to avoid bullying or social congregating.
Individual cubicles are the best and should be designed into new/refurbished schools.

This doesn't solve the problem for staff who don't work according to the lesson timetable (admin, cleaners, cools, maintenance, management, etc.) but their contracts and working arrangements should also be such that they have frequent and adequate access to toilet facilities.


LobsterNapkin · 23/09/2021 12:43

I understand why schools get these kinds of stupid systems - like another person said, they are usually in response to a separate problem.

But it really is not a good solution.


Fawkesfromtheflames · 23/09/2021 13:49

Thanks for responses, interesting to see the unanimous response is that this is a bad idea.

OP posts:

PermanentTemporary · 23/09/2021 16:15

I'm perimenopausal and didn't have periods like this as a kid but at least once day a month I need to change protection about every 90 minutes. The thought of what girls have to cope with at school Sad


Thelnebriati · 23/09/2021 19:18

There's a similar case here;

''Parents' anger over toilet rule for pupils on their period as school 'demands GP letter'
''Parents say they are having to pay £30 for the letter''


nettie434 · 24/09/2021 00:57

I think it is awful and would feel the same if the head of year were a woman. like TheInebriati, I've seen instances where schools have imposed similar rules over loo breaks. I was trying to find a report of a head teacher in Norfolk who was particularly insensitive to the position of students with health conditions that might make them need to go to the loo more often. I could't find the case I remembered being on the national news but there were instances from schools in Dorset, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

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