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Sign says students get only 'one pass per week to get a drink of water' at elementary school

Photo: Getty Images

A Cincinnati elementary school is under fire for reportedly limiting students’ trips to the water fountain.

A sign, photographed hanging on the wall of Carson Elementary School, reads “Getting a drink by permission only. That means you must ask the teacher before going out into the hall for a drink. You will get one pass per week to get a drink of water; after that points will be deducted from your grade.”

The school immediately drew criticism for the harsh policy — not only does it have the potential to leave students dehydrated, but it also punishes them for needing a drink. Parents raised the alarm about the sign and made it clear that the policy was unreasonable. “You’re not going to fail my kid because he’s thirsty and he wants a drink,” one concerned parent said to a local news channel. “If my kid’s playing in the gym room and he’s hot and sweaty and he asks for a drink and he goes to get a drink, are they going to deduct a point from him?” asked another. A mother put it simply, “I thought it was not right that they were depriving the children of having water.”

The sign went public on Tuesday, and as of Wednesday, Carson Elementary has already removed it. The school district is calling the policy a “misunderstanding.” It released a statement apologizing and clarifying the issue: “There was a sign posted at Carson Elementary intended to remind students when it is appropriate to ask to leave class for a water fountain break. The sign’s directive was outside school policy, a result of a misunderstanding about the school’s procedures. When school officials learned about this, the sign was removed. Students are permitted to ask for permission to leave class for needed restroom or water breaks at no risk to their grades.” The school district has since confirmed that students’ grades will not be affected.

Conventional wisdom tells us to drink eight eight-ounce of water per day. According to the Mayo Clinic, the directive is “easy to remember, and it’s a reasonable goal.” Some people may need less than eight glasses per day. As they say, “Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty.” That extends to students — and means way more than one trip a week to the water fountain.

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