Plz read this in your head with a British accent: "I've just found something out about America that I have never heard before and I can't believe it. So, it turns out, if kids want to go to the toilet in schools, they have to ask their teachers for a permission slip. Apparently, it's called a 'hall pass' and they'll be walking down the corridor and teachers will be like, 'Have you got a hall pass?' and they'll be like, 'Yeah.' It's literally like Willy Wonka's golden ticket," he said in his TikTok.
"Just for context, in the UK, if you want to go to the toilet, you just go to the toilet. If a teacher sees you walking down the corridor, they're just like, 'Alright mate.' They don't care. Why do they police it like that in America? Aren't you supposed to be the land of the free? Not the land of the hall pass."
If you went to a school in the US, you know we have hall passes so kids don't say they need to use the restroom and wander the halls to get out of class. We know this — BUT Joel does have some VERY VALID POINTS!
Like, why do we need permission to relieve ourselves? And isn't carrying a hall pass into the restroom with you a bit unsanitary? As expected, the conversation snowballed into all sorts of reasons why restroom hall passes are not ideal...
...And are pretty weird, like the fact that most of the time the passes are just random objects.
"So they're not even pieces of paper? Your teacher just picks up any old junk from the classroom and goes, 'Here carry that to the toilet while you do a piss or a poo'? I don't get why. I've had 17,000 comments and no one has told me a valid reason why... And also, if they're random objects, then how does a teacher that spots you in the corridor know that you haven't just taken a cuddly toy with you from home? You're like, 'I've got this toy rabbit. that means I can go for a piss'! It doesn't make sense," he said in his TikTok.
BuzzFeed reached out to Joel, who currently lives in London but grew up in Southampton, which is on the south coast of England. He went to a state school (a public school in the US).
Joel said his recent TikToks calling out how weird American culture can be aren't new. "I've actually been talking about it for years on the YouTube channel I have with my best friend called Joel & Lia. We chat about the differences between the US and UK and have a good laugh at how similar our countries are, yet so different," he told BuzzFeed.
Other school-related customs in America that Joel finds odd are uniforms. "All British schools have a school uniform, so as kids we were so jealous of American kids being able to wear whatever they wanted. But in hindsight, I think that would've caused a lot of anxiety about what to wear to school, so having a uniform took away that social pressure," Joel said.
And Joel said he would love to take a "pop quiz" one day because he's never had one (although I am sure he will regret this if he ever has one, lol). "We don't have pop quizzes in the UK, and it seems to be a staple in every American movie. The teacher shouts 'POP QUIZ!!!' I still have no idea what a pop quiz is, but I'd love to do one."
He also does not understand why full-grown adults have to share a bedroom in college dorms, because in the UK you get your own room.