High School Tells Students to ‘Hold It’
May 18, 2009 | by RMJ

A Chinese high school has suggested that students schedule their bodily needs around classes.

Toilet time tends to be one aspect of life that remains private and self-regulated, even in the sometimes harshly regimented world of Chinese schools.


But the administrators at Sanmenxia No.1 High School decided that managing nature’s call was too much responsibility for their students. Banners were erected last week advising the student body to sync their bodies to avoid having to leave class to go to the restroom.

“Adjust your body rhythm as soon as possible to completely rule out needing toilet breaks during class” was splashed on red banners across the campus without warning or explanation last Monday morning. The command was roundly met with concern or mockery from the student body.

“It’s so ridiculous that the school supervises their students’ toilet use,” one alumnus said.

But the administrators and teachers at the school defended their draconian decision, claiming that such suggestions are made necessary by student behavior. Students are apparently congregating in the one private space they have left, using it to extend their social interactions beyond quick exchanges in the hall.

“The motive of the banner is good: to remind students to reasonably manage their time. But it is too serious and excludes some special situations such as diarrhea during class,” one teacher claimed.

Overextended student bladders had no comment on the matter.


Rachel is a writer and tutor living in Virginia. She loves learning about other cultures and thinks we’re all a little wacky.

Latest posts by RMJ (see all)

  • Typical Chinese school behaviour. They are only concerned to control the students. Educating them is beyond their abilities.

  • They are just having a go at us.

  • They tried doing this at my school. One day a bunch of students organized a 'peeing in a bottle' event and left the bottles on their respective teacher's desks. Needless to say, the Principle got the message.

  • "Okay kids, it's nine o'clock and you know what that means; daddy's sick of looking at you!"

    don't forget to bring your snapple bottles

  • It's true… we were only allowed to go to bathrooms during class breaks, and the only time we are allowed to leave the room is when we feel like we're oging to vomit.

  • What's so unusual about a school saying you shouldn't go to the toilet during classes?
    I was always told I should go to toilet before class when I lived in Australia. This article is exaggerating an internationally standard thing. Teachers naturally dislike students going to the toilet during class as it disrupts the entire class often. Anyway, going to the toilet before class isn't that big an issue.

  • i agree..it's a common thing that teachers encourage the students to use the toilet before they attend lessons..it's for their own good..what's so wrong about it?

  • my school pulls this crap all the time. except they get around legal issues by saying in their handbook that it is encouraged that students use the bathroom during passing periods between class and only go during class if it's an emergency. except some teachers are real bitches. at the begining of the last school year my history teacher told us straight up that she doesnt allow kids to go to the bathroom. what really didn't make sense was that her class was only a few feet from the bathroom. and every year at school they shorten our passing period by a minute, while increasing the size of the school by 2011 it will be 3 stories tall.

  • It's a stupid rule for 2 reasons:
    #1, and of course, #2!

  • I live in the U.S. and I went to a public school that had this rule. I felt kind of annoyed by it because I never abused
    "bathroom time", but I knew tons of kids who did.

    Either way though, in big schools that have rules like this they probably get a flood of people in the few minutes between classes, it's probably unsanitary and inefficient.

  • Brandon R. Farmer

    This is exactly why my movement is quickly gaining momentum. I am advocating for change to the fundamental ways of thinking that have resulted in things like faulty restroom policies. If you are interested, please check out the Restroom Laws Movement at my web site:

    Thank you for your time,
    Brandon R. Farmer

  • huh? The same thing happens in all of the schools I have attended?…so???? We get three minutes in between classes

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