Tennessee teacher's 'petty' note restricting bathroom and nurse breaks goes viral, sparks outrage

A parent of an eigth-grader was shocked to discover a teacher's note to her class at the start of the school year announcing a limit on hall passes to two per month — including trips to the bathroom, nurse, water fountain or administrative offices.

The eigth grade teacher at Aspire Hanley Middle School, a charter school in Memphis, Tenn., asked students to sign a letter that outlined the rules. Each time the students use their pass, they're required to hand the piece of paper to the instructor for a signature.

A mother was appalled when her child showed her the note from the teacher — only referred to as "Mrs. White" in the document — and shared a copy of it on Facebook, though the post has since been deleted.

According to Mrs. White, if a student fails to comply with the rules, then he or she will be given an automatic detention or fail the assignment they walked out on.


"I understand that Mrs. White is petty and although we both have options, I can be denied going to the restroom/water/nurse during the lesson," the teacher wrote in the note. "If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to speak with Mrs. White before or after-school, although nothing will change."

Memphis native Jaadee Sykes spotted the note online and shared it on her Twitter account Aug. 30 asking parents to share their reactions to the rules. Thousands of people replied, many criticizing the teacher's actions by sending out the letter.

"As a former teacher of almost 20 years, I get the teacher’s frustration with a few students who take advantage just to get out of class (most don’t)," one Twitter user commented. "It can be a disruption that makes it harder to teach and a distraction for other students. However, many times, students simply don’t have time to go between classes. Also, this is unprofessional and petty, and I would bet it’s not very effective, either."


"I have always told my children that they do not need permission to go to the washroom - that they should evaluate 'need & timing' themselves, & advise the teacher that is what they are doing. Any problem, direct teacher to me. Never had a problem. No human needs permission to pee," one parent argued.

"Not an acceptable policy, I a former School Board member and would have voted against such a policy," another added.

Sykes told Buzzfeed News it's clear the teacher has "control issues."

"This shows someone ... who has no power or authority at home, so they bring what little power they have to the one place where they will have no resistance: the classroom," Sykes said.

In a statement posted online, Aspire Hanley Middle School clarified to parents that the teacher's restrictions were "inconsistent" with the school's policies.

"We are currently reviewing the circumstances under which the document was prepared and distributed to students," the school wrote. "Please know the safety and care of our students is always our first priority. It is important that students know we respect them and are responsive to their needs."

The middle school vowed to investigate the incident and meet with teachers to ensure every classroom follows their approved procedures.

Aspire Public Schools Superintendent Nickalous Manning did not immediately return Fox News' request for comment Friday afternoon.