This morning I was watching the news, as I always do, and one story left me absolutely outraged! Kew Primary School (VIC), in all their wisdom have decided to trial a new toileting system...if a child needs to go to the bathroom during class time, then the WHOLE class needs to go with them! Primary school aged children are in their most formative years, and I can't believe the school would humiliate them so!
There was no consultation process with the parents, in fact, parents didn't know about it until their children started having accidents. One parent didn't believe their child because the story sounded so ridiculous...and it is! Many students have stopped drinking water during school hours to save themselves the embarrassment of taking the whole class to the bathroom with them, resulting in dehydration, headaches and constipation. What other damage could they be physically doing to themselves? Future kidney problems? No child needs to go through that!
The principal has reported that there have been less disruptions during class time and a reduction of graffiti in the bathrooms, so it appears successful. But does success have to come at the price of their students' health? If the principal is that worried about graffiti, then hire a janitor! I'm pretty sure this policy doesn't extend to the school teachers.
This story hit a little too close to home. At my children's school, children go to the bathroom in pairs, which I completely support given that just last week a man was found in the girl's toilets at a school in my local area. The downside though...if you need to go to the bathroom during class time, your name is written up on the board. I don't agree with children being named and shamed at all! I have expressed this to my daughter's teacher, and she said she wasn't aware that it was upsetting Eme so. The fact that Eme's had 3 accidents this term, is a pretty clear indicator that this system isn't working for her. Not all children are the same, and I think the school needs to take that into account.
Eme doesn't want to be embarrassed by having her name written on the board, so she tries to hold on. Children get distracted and forget to go at recess and lunch, and sometimes (not everyday) they need to go during class time. Going to the bathroom during winter is more difficult because Eme has to deal with stockings. What 5 year old knows how to pull them down quickly? We're still having night time issues because Eme isn't drinking enough during the day and emptying her bladder often enough.
I don't want my children thinking its not okay to go to the bathroom. If I'm in a meeting at work and I need to go, then I get up and quietly walk out. I won't sit there and wait until the next break because I don't want to wet myself. The same courtesy and freedom should be given to our children. Don't punish everyone because a few ratbag children are disruptive and graffiti in the bathroom. I hope your children's schools show your children a little more respect.