A School Installed Locked 'Metal Cages' To Prevent Students From Using The Bathroom During Class

The students are forbidden from using the bathroom without adult supervision to combat excessive use during class hours.

teen girls chat in school bathroom during break nimito / Shutterstock

A U.K. school has come under fire for the drastic policy they created that prevents students from being able to use the bathroom without explicit permission.

Foxford Community School, a secondary school located in Coventry, England, has been met with criticism and backlash from parents after hearing the lengths their kids would have to go through just to gain access to the bathrooms.

The school installed locked metal cages to prevent students from using the bathroom during class.

Students at Foxford have reportedly been stopped from using the bathroom at their secondary school after the installation of metal cage doors. The students are only allowed to use the bathrooms during a break in their class schedule or if they're escorted by a teacher to be supervised.


"To put metal doors on them is just going too far," Ian Ward, a 54-year-old grandfather of students at the school, told Coventry Live of the "disgusting," facility imprisonment. Ward, who has six grandchildren said the school administrators installed the measure in early March 2024 because they were having "issues with students in the toilets."

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School Installed Locked Metal Cages To Prevent Students From Using The BathroomPhoto: Rido / Canva Pro


While Ward didn't elaborate, it's presumed that the school must've gotten frustrated with the number of students leaving class in the middle of the lesson just to fool around in the bathrooms. However, instead of coming up with a different system, like implementing bathroom passes that could only be used one at a time, or restricting the number of students out of the class at the same time, Foxford Community decided that the best solution would be metal cages.

"Foxford has for a while kept the toilet doors locked preventing the kids from using the toilets," Ward told the news outlet. "Now they have fitted locked cage doors to prevent the kids from even getting near the toilets and have said the kids can only use the toilets during break times but not during lessons."

Ward isn't the only guardian who has been left outraged by the move, with other parents labeling the school's decision as "disgusting," according to the Daily Mail. The unusual policy only affects students in grades 7 through 11.

'Kids are only allowed to go to the toilet under supervision. It is taking away the freedom of being able to use the toilet as and when you need it.'

Ward questioned how a student was supposed to be able to use the bathroom if they were on their period or had a medical issue that prohibited them from waiting too long to use the bathroom. Putting metal doors in the bathroom as if the students are in prison isn't the solution the school needs to combat excessive use of the bathrooms in the first place.


School Installed Locked Metal Cages To Prevent Students From Using The Bathroom Photo: Monkey Business Images / Canva Pro

"School is supposed to be a safe place for kids and it is supposed to be a relaxed environment, but how is it a relaxed environment when they are locked up?" Ward questioned. He added that his grandchildren were extremely "upset" about the policy, along with some of their other peers.

"I think there are other ways of controlling that by having somebody sit by the toilets at certain times," he said."“And if there is a problem then someone is close by, there is no need to lock them and say you are not using them."


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However, a spokesperson for Foxford Community School doubled down on the policy, claiming that they had only installed "metal doors" in two bathrooms. "We have recently installed metal doors to two toilet areas, these are not cages and the doors are unlocked before and after school, as well as at break and lunchtimes," the spokesperson explained, according to the Daily Mail. 

Unfortunately, this practice of trying to limit students' access to the bathrooms is fairly common, especially in America.

A survey by the Society for Women’s Health Research found that schools often disregard kids’ restroom rights, often by failing to have a bathroom rule on the books and providing staff with education on bladder health. 



While half of the 362 school nurses surveyed for the report said students in their schools had free access to bathrooms, with permission a formality, others had different responses. At some schools, students are expected to use the restrooms only in between classes or during their designated lunchtimes. However, more than a third of middle school and high school nurses said they do not believe the break period between classes is long enough for students to use the bathroom.


Despite the well-intentioned measures to ensure that students are not skipping class to spend it in the bathrooms, or using it as an excuse to miss vital lessons during class hours, treating bathroom use as a disciplinary action will only lead to serious health implications for various children. When a child needs to go, they should be allowed to go. Installing locked metal cages as if students are in Alcatraz won't solve anything, and in fact, will probably make the situation worse.

For any school policy to work, teachers and administrators need to listen to the feedback given by both students and parents, especially if it stems from concerns about health because any new rule implemented needs to be fair, reasonable, and respectful to the students that are being impacted.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.