What is a Hall Pass?Posted: February 4, 2011
“What’s a hall pass?” Noah asked.
“It’s a pass you need to get when you are in public school, to get permission to go to the bathroom.” I said.
Noah looked at me with a puzzled face as if to say, “Why would I need a pass to go to the bathroom?”
I then related to him a story I remembered hearing as a child. It may be some kind of urban legend, but this is how I remember it. A boy, who is known to constantly be asking to go to the bathroom raises his hand to the teacher.
“What is it now?” asks the teacher.
“I do not feel well. I need to go to the bathroom.” says the student.
“You can wait until lunch.” says the teacher.
A few minutes later, the boy raises his hand again.
“I really do not feel well.” he says.
But the teacher refuses him once again thinking that he is exaggerating.
Finally, a third time, the boy gets up from his seat and walks to the front of the classroom.
“I really do not feel well.” he says with a moan.
Before the teacher can get a word out, the boy vomits all over the floor in front of her desk.
This story was circulated by students. I may have heard it from my older brother as he liked to tell stories that had vomit in them. I believe it has been told and retold as a cautionary tale.
Noah has no idea why anyone would need a hall pass. When he needs to go to the bathroom, he goes. Seems logical. But I did explain to him that in public school, they give hall passes because you need to justify to a guard or school official, why you are in the hall. Some kids were known to take the hall pass, and not come back for a long long time. In an institution, where you are treated like inmates, this is how it goes.
The advertised film, it seems, has nothing to do with this subject. I am including the image anyhow, because it prompted this whole conversation between me and my son.