Teacher Crossed the Line When She Hosed Down Student


garden hoseAs hypocritical as it seems, there are some things we as parents do to our children that are just not okay for other people to do. Sure, we want their caregivers and teachers to love our kids like their own, but in some cases, we don't want them to treat them like their own. A recent incident in Florida is a perfect example.

When a pre-kindergarten student soiled his diaper on the playground, a teacher didn't follow regular protocol and take the boy into a classroom to change his diaper. Rather, she took off his pants, got a hose, and hosed him off, before putting his pants back on to go inside for a fresh diaper. A "plant operator" did give the teacher gloves and held up a towel for privacy ... but still.

According to WTSP, the teacher was suspended for 10 days without pay. The board found she was violating rules including "failure to perform the duties of the position," "inappropriate or disparaging remarks to or about students or exposing a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement," and more.

I'm not sure that punishment is harsh enough, but not because it's not something that I might do.

I have never done so, but it's not unimaginable to me that I would hose my kid down outside if he or she was messy. A hose, wipes, what's the difference at that age? Well, there's a big difference if it's someone else choosing to do that to my child. I'm the parent, and it's up to me to decide when and where it's appropriate to do something like that, and who it's okay to do it around. Parenting comes with so many caveats and judgment calls, and inevitably those caring for our children will have to make some, but there are limits. And this teacher crossed them.

I feel the same way about other less-than-textbook parenting choices I make, like, oh, say ... scaring my children to be good. I will admit that I have been known recently as Christmas approaches to try and frighten my daughter with the Grinch who's going to get her if she's not good (which went over great when we went to see "Grinchmas," let me tell you). I know it's not the most proper parenting move, but I also know her limits and how scared she really is, AND I'm the one who would be up in the middle of the night if she had nightmares. If I heard a teacher or babysitter trying to scare my daughter into being good, however, I'd be furious.

So yes, it's a fine line and, like I said, perhaps a bit of a hypocritical one, but there are places parents can go with their children that others shouldn't. Some are small and just annoying (babysitters that occasionally go against your wishes to keep snacks sugar-free), but others, like this hosing incident, are bigger and need to be addressed.

Do you think the teacher stepped out of line hosing this child down on the playground? What things do you do as a parent that you wouldn't be okay with other people doing to your children?

Image via Beth Kingery/Flickr

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It's not hypocritical to be a parent!  This title and responsibility natural comes with certain benefits and unique boundaries.  We love, are responsible for (ie genetic) and are connected to our children in away no one else can or is, so there are things parents will, can and should do that no one else should even begin to think about ;.}  I'm interested to know how others think Ms. Julie's opnion apply to long term or short term foster care situation?

nonmember avatar Gertie

There are policies about how to handle these situations normally dictated by heath departments/government. If the teacher violated the policies at her place of employment (which I am sure she did) then she needs to be reprimanded. It has nothing to do with the standards I have at my own house but everything to do with the standards at her job.

Littl... LittleFrogsMA

I'm more concerned about the health code violations and how other children could have been made sick since a BM requiring this kind of action was likely diarrhea.

Smart... Smart.AND.Sexy

I would absolutely freak out if this was my child.
That is humiliating. Naked, outside being hosed down like an animal? Completely ridiculous. Thats what wipes are for.

PonyC... PonyChaser

Ok, I guess I'm way out of touch here, because I think this is a massive over-reaction. Sometimes kids get messy. And sometimes a hose is the best way to clean it up. I can't imagine that the child was harmed in any way - low pressure water was used. The child was sheltered from other kids/people seeing what was happening. It's not like, if any fecal matter remained in the grass or the area where he (for this purpose, it's a "he", ok?) was washed off, the other kids are running over there and licking it.

Tell me how this is a health hazard? The kid was dirty. Teacher washed him off, brought him inside, and finished the job. Immediately. It's not like he was forced to run around without pants on!! This seems like a massive over-reaction to me.

Pnukey Pnukey

Wow, that is way out of line.

Spike... SpikedMango

I'm gonna have to agree with PonyChaser...

lehof... lehoffman

pre-kindergarten? Unless this boy was special needs, which would add a whole other level of this being wrong, why is he not potty trained? I'm sorry, but if this kid was 3 1/2 or 4 and going to pre-kindergarten, i think the diaper years should be done. but still, the teacher made the wrong choicel. 

nonmember avatar Ripley


A towel held up for privacy would have been a good idea

But if that kid had diarrhea running into the sneakers, the hose kept potentially infectious microbes from entering the school

Then the school would have had to have massive disinfecting

Kids in Sudan would give their thumbs for a water hose

Keep this in global perspective please

No harm

No foul

No worms or microbes passed to other


Uv kills a lot of these nasties so hopefully nobody will suggest removal from the offending soil

Good grief yuppie moms and dads

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