Students at a Manhattan high school staged a riot when their bathroom privileges were taken away. We can't say we totally blame them.
According to New York 1, principal Andrea Lewis of Murry Bergtraum High School said yesterday that bathrooms would be closed in response to fight that broke out in the morning. This caused students to begin "running through the hallways and basement, screaming and shouting" for about 20 minutes. Gotham Schools says the students used their cell phones — which are prohibited in class — to set up the disturbance.
We don't condone teen violence — and at least one teacher apparently "feared for her life" during the riot. But since when is locking the bathrooms for all students a good punishment for a fight? Lewis said students could use bathrooms in the nurse's office if they had an "emergency" — but still, restricting them from peeing just sounds like an unhealthy and ineffective way to combat bad behavior. Teachers union leader John Elfrank-Dana hints that Lewis has had similar problems in the past — he said that "her record has been one of success in academics" but "she has failing grades for security from her previous school. That is a concern of the staff."