CRYSTAL, Minn. (FOX 9) - After the first day of school this week, Kelsey Roadfeldt sat down with her son to go over how things went. He's a seventh grader at FAIR School in Crystal, a magnet school in the Robbinsdale school district with a focus on fine arts.
She was shocked when her son mentioned a new policy that's being implemented.
"He brought it up and said, 'Well, we have this new policy now that we only are allowed 12 bathroom breaks per quarter,'" said Roadfeldt.
In the back of his school binder was a sheet that apparently limits the number of bathroom breaks a student can take, capping the number at 12 per quarter. After speaking with other parents in the district, Roadfeldt learned the 12 passes are not just for bathroom breaks, but for water breaks and trips to the nurse as well.
"It's essentially the equivalent of being able to leave the classroom just over once a week. With three minutes in between classes, it is just not enough time for everyone to have a bathroom break. You have girls who are going through puberty who need some additional time to take care of things," said Roadfeldt, who adds that she assumes the policy is to prevent any incidents from happening in the bathroom, but that has never been communicated.
"As parents, we haven't received any communication that there have been substantial issues or an increase in issues or anything that would give us a reason to think that's why this policy was put into place," said Roadfeldt.
One of her biggest frustrations now is that her parents weren't told about the change in the first place.
"Parents are kind of in the dark. We have 11- to 13-year-olds trying to explain something that they barely understand."
FOX 9 reached out to Robbinsdale Area Schools for comment about the matter. A spokesperson says there was some confusion, but that the school is not capping the number of bathroom breaks a student can take per quarter. They claim the sheet that was sent home with students in their binder is simply a way to teach them how to manage their "out-of-class time."