From a typical Grady class from, it takes approximately 15 seconds to reach the nearest water fountain or restroom based on a Southerner study. However, from a classroom in the portable trailer classrooms, a student can take up to two minutes to reach the nearest water fountain or restroom.
“I trust students to get back from the restroom in a reasonable amount of time,” English teacher Nalin Needham said. “In the rare instance that a student takes too long, I talk to them individually.”
Currently, Needham has two classrooms, one in the trailers and one in the main school building. His policies in each class do not change, despite the different locations.
“My restroom policy while I’m in the building is the same as it is when I’m out in the trailers, but I expect students to return more quickly than I do when they leave from the trailers,” Needham said.
Last year, Dr. Betsy Bockman provided the keys to the locker room restrooms in the gym for all teachers in the trailers. This allowed for some flexibility for the teachers even though students still had to walk up to the main building for the restroom.
AP Psychology teacher Andrew Copeland, whose classroom was in the trailers before this year, was thankful to have access to the gym bathrooms.
“During my first few years, [teachers] didn’t have keys to the locker room,” Copeland said, “At times, it would be frustrating when it was locked, but I would just go to the main building. I would be a little late for class a few times, but it wasn’t too big of a hassle. Last year, they finally got us keys and that solved most of the problems.”
The time it takes alone to walk to the E-200 hall to the restrooms from the trailers can take up a solid portion of class time. On the other hand, there is little time wasted when going to the restroom or water fountain during class time from the school building.
“Students who actually need to go to the restroom from the trailers have to go long distances, so teachers may not be able to relay some information mentioned in class to their students,” senior Ben Taylor said.
Junior Maximus Freightman agrees, mentioning how stressful it is to walk to the E-200 hall without wasting too much time.
“It is very annoying because we have to walk all the way to the building and back to our class,” Freightman said, “We miss so much of class, so sometimes teachers don’t think you even went to the bathroom.”
Despite the trust most teachers have in their students to come back to class in a reasonable amount of time, students may take advantage of their bathroom privileges and use that time to hang out with their friends.
Latin teacher Scott Allen has a unique approach with students going to the bathroom from his classroom in the trailers. Allen takes students’ phones when they go to the bathroom.
“I make it very clear they need to be back in roughly 5-6 minutes,” Allen said. “I feel like the students have responded well to this and go to the bathroom before class.”
Needham pointed out how a solution to this problem would be to install restrooms and water fountains close by to the trailers. Similarly, Inman Middle School, Grady’s feeder school, has a large area around the main campus composed of trailers, and the water fountains and bathrooms are contained within the trailers.
The bathroom struggles continue in the trailers, but according to Copeland, a definitive solution is not critical, and everyone will have to remain patient with the process.
“Teachers and students both know that being in the trailers can create some logistical issues, but I think with a little effort by both parties, it’s not that big of an issue.”