Cornwall school tells girls to ask for ‘red card pass’ while on period to go to toilets during class
Parents’ anger as secondary school asks girls to apply for ‘red cards’ during their periods so they can go to toilets during class time
- Penrice Academy students are not allowed to go to the toilet during class time
- The principal said the policy was put in place to maximize study time.
A school in Cornwall has come under fire from parents after it said girls on their periods must apply for a ‘red pass’ to go to the toilet during class time
The new policy at Penrice Academy in St Austell means all pupils can only go to the toilet outside of class time.
The principal defended the decision, saying it was important to minimize disruption during classes.
The school also insisted the rule will never prevent students from going to the bathroom if they are truly in need.
While some of the parents have also complained that the school is enforcing its no-coat rule in corridors.
Parents have vented their anger online after Penrice Academy, St Austell, said girls would have to apply for a “Red Card Pass” during their period to go to the toilet during class time
Many parents in the area took to Facebook to express their outrage, Kim Bailey wrote: “Every person, child or adult should be allowed to use the toilets at all times.
“They’re not going to say, ‘Please sir, I’ve got some diarrhea.’ Or “may I please go to the toilet, my period has started”.
“If schools are all about nurturing and nurturing children, some of these controlling and archaic rules need to be reconsidered.”
One mother added: “You should know by now that these rules are for students and are not approved by anyone.
“Red passports are a ridiculous idea. This is a complete invasion of privacy for young girls.”
Another concerned parent added: “Issuing a red card is neither useful nor a reasonable response. It clearly sets these young people apart. Having a lot of pressure already is an invasion of privacy.’
The school said “red card period passes” can be requested in advance for students to keep in their bags and use when needed.
They also shared with all parents in a newsletter the school’s “long-standing expectations regarding coats in the hallways and access to toilets during class time”.
Lucy Gambier, Principal of Penrice Academy, defended the policy, saying: “All students are encouraged to wear coats during breaks and when going outside a school building to another lesson.”
Principal Lucy Gambier said: “This policy is designed to maximize study time and minimize disruption to instruction.”
She continued: “Our primary request is that coats be removed once inside so that students can proudly represent the school in their full uniforms.
“Penrice students can use the toilet facilities at the beginning of the day, between classes, during breaks, at lunchtime and at the end of the day.
“This equates to 6 opportunities throughout the day, each no more than 75 minutes apart. This policy is designed to maximize study time and minimize classroom disruption.
“Of course there are exceptions such as medical conditions and unexpected onset of periods; Toilet passes can be purchased by students who need flexibility or quiet.
James Hammersley, Deputy Headmaster, added: “We understand that girls are not always able to plan the start of their period, which can happen during class.
“With that in mind, girls can request red period cards through their tutors to keep in their bag to use when needed. This system has always worked well and many Penrice girls already know and use the cards.
“Crucially, this system is trust-based and monitored to ensure the cards are used appropriately.”