A school removed bathroom mirrors to keep students from making TikToks. Will it work?

Some students were asking to use the bathroom five or more times a day and spending upwards of five minutes out of class during each excused absence. Read full story

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Administrators at Southern Alamance Middle School in Graham, NC, recently removed bathroom mirrors after discovering students were spending copious amounts of classroom time in front of them creating TikTok videos. Some students were asking to use the bathroom five or more times a day and spending upwards of five minutes out of class during each excused absence, according to Les Atkins, spokesperson for Alamance-Burlington schools. School administrators agreed to remove the bathroom mirrors about three weeks ago.

Students requiring the use of a mirror for legitimate reasons such as adjusting contact lenses or checking for food in braces can, with permission, use the bathroom mirror in the cafeteria or the nurse's office. "Since removing the mirrors, we have seen a drastic decrease in bathroom visits from students asking to be excused just to make videos," Les Atkins, spokesperson for Alamance-Burlington schools, told Education Week in an email. "We strive to limit distractions so students can focus on learning.



" The school's response is, in some ways, a logical one to a problem such as cellphone distractions, one of the top classroom management challenges facing teachers today, say experts. But the strategy's success may be short-lived. "It is perfectly natural to first address the immediate need - whether it's a new boundary, or some kind of response that removes an immediate mechanism that the adults may feel is contributing to the problem," said Andrea Clyne, the president.