So let's just pretend that your kid could be in danger. Serious danger. Like your kid is in school and gunshots are heard. The school goes into lockdown. And then, your kid has to pee. Badly. The kid asks to be escorted to the bathroom but the answer is "no," because, well, there could be people who want to shoot you. Ya know, that kind of thing. So the teacher makes your kid go to the bathroom in the trash can.
Do you a) thank the teacher for having such a dangerous job, which I'm sure the teacher never imagined in a million years would be a dangerous job when he or she signed up for it; b) explain to your child that during emergencies, sometimes you have to make adjustments -- even embarrassing ones; c) demand an investigation and have your child talk to the media about this supposedly horrifically embarrassing incident. I think we all know which option one parent chose.
It all started when several people reported hearing what sounded like gunshots from a wooded area near a school in St. Cloud, Florida. Like all schools are trained to do these days (what does that say about this country?!), the school went into voluntary lockdown mode, even though police were called and couldn't find the source of the gunshots.
So far, so smart, right?
Until two students, one whose diabetes makes her have to urinate more frequently, had to pee. The teacher, not wanting to send them out into the hallway where, you know, God knows what could be lurking, had the girls pee in a trash can behind his desk.
"It was very embarrassing," said the 13-year-old "victim."
Embarrassing? Sure. Was she alive to tell the tale? Yes. Was anyone grateful about that? No.
Then instead of, say, forgetting about the peeing incident, an investigation was launched and two dozen students were required to write down their eyewitness accounts of said peeing incident. Yes, kids who probably would have gotten over the horrible trauma of listening to their classmates whizz in a can instead had to relive (relieve? har!) the trauma all over again.
And then the teacher actually had to DEFEND his choice, telling the principal in an email:
I felt that the best solution for keeping her safe and also preventing her from being embarrassed was for her to go (to the bathroom) behind my desk. My primary concern was keeping the kids healthy and out of the halls during the lockdown while preserving them from the embarrassment of wetting themselves. I would want the same done for my future children.
You would think if peeing in a bucket were such a problem, perhaps there would have been a protocol to follow for these teachers who are being put in these situations. They signed up to teach, not to hide kids from crazed madmen with guns. Unfortunately, this is now part of the curriculum. But not only did the school not have any policy for what to do in these cases, it actually contacted child services to ask about reporting the teacher for child abuse!
The teacher has been fired -- though supposedly (cough, cough) not for this incident.
We live in times when kids can actually get blown away at school. Sandy Hook taught us that. Isn't their safety more important than a little embarrassment?!
Do you think the teacher made the wrong decision?
Image via kalleboo/Flickr