Boys, Take Aim

Mr. Torbert’s lesson to elementary school boys on using a public bathroom should be posted in lavatories everywhere.

I’ve spent the week speaking to almost every boy in my school about … ummm … peeing. It all started on Monday when a Kindergarten teacher asked me to talk to the boys in her class about their behavior in the bathroom. Within two hours, a third grade teacher came to ask me to do the same thing. (They swear that it was not a conspiracy.) Near the end of the day, our custodian called me to one of the boys bathrooms because he caught a second grader … ummm … hosing down the bathroom floor. I spoke with a few more teachers, more custodians, and investigated a little. By the end of the day I realized that we were experiencing an epidemic. My plan of attack was to rally the troops and have our boys “take aim.” I have included my talking points below—interestingly enough the points did not vary at all between kindergartners and third graders (and a few of our female teachers noted that most of these points would be useful for many of us adult males as well).


Important things to remember when you go to the bathroom (by Mr. Torbert):

Urinals (aka—the ones on the wall)

Stand as close to the urinal as you can before you begin to pee. Under no circumstances should you stand far back and attempt to see how far you can pee—this is something that you do in your backyard or on camping trips with your dad.

You should make every effort to aim for the bulls-eye that has been placed inside the urinal. If you are peeing on the bulls-eye, you are likely not to be peeing on the floor.

While standing at the urinal, you are not to turn to the left or right to check out what others are doing. Reason #1: you don’t want people to look at you while you are peeing and they don’t want you to look at them while they are peeing. Reason #2: when you are looking to the side, you are not concentrating on the bulls-eye and could turn your entire body to the left or right ‘mid pee’.

There is no need to drop your pants to your ankles while standing at the urinal—no one needs to see your butt.

Only one person at a time at each urinal. Stand in line and wait your turn.

If you are waiting in line to use the urinal, DO NOT drop your pants to get ready for your turn—wait until you are actually at the urinal before unbuttoning your pants.

Do not sit in the urinal—it is for standing only. If you need to sit, please use the toilet.

Those blue things are called urinal cakes. They are not edible and should not be removed from the urinal for any reason.


Toilet (aka—the ones you sit on)

It is alright to stand up in front of the toilet to pee—boys are very lucky to be able to stand up to pee. Use this power for good and not evil.

Only one person at a time at each toilet. Stand in line and wait your turn.

There is no bulls-eye in the toilet—aim for the hole in the bottom or just aim for the water. (Making bubbles can be fun!)

Raise the seat before you begin to pee. If you pee on the seat and don’t clean it up, the next person who has to sit down to poop will have to sit in your pee. Do you want to sit in someone else’s pee?

If you do accidentally pee on the seat, clean it up. Use the ‘just right’ amount of toilet paper to do this. Use more than 1-2 squares because you don’t want to get pee on your hands. Don’t use a huge amount because it will clog the toilet and folks won’t be able to poop when they need to.

After cleaning the seat, be sure to wash your hands

If you are sitting on the toilet and someone looks under the stall (or over it), tell them to leave you alone and tell your teacher as soon as you get back to your classroom.


Drain in the Floor (Drain in the Floor)

The drain in the bathroom floor is not for pee. You should not stand around this hole to pee with your friends.


This presentation was made to 22 groups of boys in grades ranging from kindergarten through third grade. The conversations that resulted were priceless.

Read more: Bank Walkers and the Code of the Locker Room, By J. A. Drew Diaz

Image credit: Nina Matthews Photography/Flickr


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About Roger Torbert

Roger Torbert is a husband, father, child of the '80s, curriculum nerd, aspiring good man and Starbucks junkie---not necessarily in that order. His personal blog can be found at Too Much to Think.


  1. Adam McPhee says:

    There’s a bullseye in urinals now? If you mean the rubber mat or the urinal puck, peeing directly at/on this sometimes leads to splash back. No one wants to go back to class with pee sprayed on their pants/shirt.

    I also question trying to teach children to isolate themselves at the urinal (don’t turn, don’t talk, don’t acknowledge other people are peeing). I feel this is the root of the “no-gay zone” of urinal choosing later in life (one urinal between guys, one bus seat between guys, one movie seat between guys).

    Personally, when peeing with friends, especially when a stranger is present, I jokingly compliment them on their watch or their belt buckle. Everyone pees, we don’t need to treat it as an ultra-individual act. Otherwise, we might as well just all go in individual stalls as opposed to walless urinals (or single troughs if you’re British).

    • I once worked in a place with a couple of Vietman Vets. They had in the mens room urunial a bullseye with a likeness of Jane Fonda. With the caption “I’m not fonda of ‘Hanoi Jane'”

  2. “We aim to please, so you aim, too, please”?

  3. Adam McPhee says:

    “No matter how much you shake, or how much you dance,
    The last few drops always wind up in your pants”
    -Stephen King

  4. The targets are super cool waterproof stickers that you can place in the ‘sweet spot’ of a urinal. You can buy them with pictures of colorful targets or even animals. The boys love them and often talk about hitting the bulls eye! We ordered them online from:

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