Today in completely bonkers news, it's been discovered that a Washington state elementary school teacher was allegedly having students "pay" to use the restroom. As in, when a little boy or girl needed to go potty, they had to fork it over. The payment wasn't real money but instead some sort of currency the teacher created, which students in the class reportedly obtained through good behavior and performance and could use on toys, treats, and, um, using the restroom.
Two third graders reportedly wet their pants, thanks to this form of torture system. One mom, whose daughter came home wearing different clothes than the ones she left the house in, said that her child told her that she eventually had to go in her pants because "it hurt so bad."
Has a child ever asked permission to use the bathroom in school when he or she really didn't have to go? Yes, of course. We all have. But the fact is, using the restroom isn't a privilege, it's a part of life. Children should be able to go to the bathroom whenever they need to, regardless of how much fake money they've earned or how "bad" they've been because, in addition to it being a right, it's a health issue. "Holding it in" can have adverse effects and make kids truly sick. Without getting too graphic, not going number two can easily cause constipation, and not going number one can cause one's bladder to stretch. How would you feel if your child suffered from this because his teacher forbade him from going to the bathroom?
It truly is amazing that a third grade teacher, someone whose job it is to educate and be a model for young children, thought this method was appropriate for their students. On all accounts, it's simply poor judgment and decision-making. As of Monday, the teacher wasn't in the classroom and the principal wouldn't speak to reporters about the issue. Hopefully, this will be handled appropriately, and students will be able to use the restroom whenever they need to.
What would you do if you found out your child's teacher was doing this?
Image via SuSanA Secreteriat/Flickr