Parents: Local school's bathroom policy is making kids sick

Parents say limited bathroom passes at Loma Portal

SAN DIEGO - Some parents tell Team 10 their children are getting sick because of a restrictive bathroom policy at a local school.

Ayden Rygiel and Brevin Taft are in fourth grade at Loma Portal Elementary School. They say they only get two bathroom passes a year.

"I used them right up at the beginning of the year and I had no more," Brevin said.

"I think it's a little odd because if you need to go, you have to hold it and some people get infections from it," added Ayden.

The students say they can earn passes through "dolphin dollars," the school's reward system.

However, if they don't have enough and still need to go to the restroom, they can be excluded from activities or receive detention. Ayden said a lot of his classmates get lunch detention.

Ayden's mom, Jamie Barkley, also has a third grader at the school. She said her daughter Rylie had to go to the doctor because she would wait to use the restroom.

"Her system was completely backed up. She had made me aware that teachers ask you to hold it and to not go," Barkley said.

Barkley spearheaded an online effort to get policies changed.

"You shouldn't have to buy bathroom passes. It's a necessity; it shouldn't be a privilege," Barkley said.

Another parent posted a letter online, apparently written by a student. It said: "If it is an emergency, the teachers should let them go."

"The kids have been talking more about it," said Brevin's mother, Dawn. "We've been hearing more about it as parents from other parents."

"The principal suggested putting in more bathrooms. My question is how is putting in more bathrooms going to solve the problem when they don't let them use the bathrooms that we have?" Barkley said.

The San Diego Unified School District released this statement to Team 10:

"The parent concerns regarding the Loma Portal restroom procedures have been forwarded to the district's Quality Assurance Office. That office is still investigating the issue so no details or comments can be provided by the district."
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