My kid’s teacher disciplined him for going to the bathroom…

Bathroom Discipline

bathroom issue

Let me set the stage for you (according to my 7 year old, 2nd grader).

My kiddo gets in the car after school and non-chalantly says, “I had to miss 5 minutes of recess today.”

Well since that rarely happens (or at least, he rarely tells me it happens), I was intrigued and asked why.

Kiddo: I had to go to the bathroom at the wrong time.

I wish I could find a photo to insert here that would do the expression that I’m sure was on my face justice, but I couldn’t find one. Just know that I was 7 shades of concerned, confused, irritated, annoyed, wondering, and altogether flabbergasted.

So I started to investigate. My first thought was, “Mama bear, calm it down. He probably horsed around during the scheduled bathroom break, and shouldn’t have HAD to go”

…But even then, I was honked…So what if he DID horse around. If a kid has to go, he’ll GO. If a kid doesn’t he can’t.

So I asked, “Did you TRY to go when you went as a class to the bathroom before that?”.

He responded that he had. (7 year olds cant always be trusted, I realize. But STILL…even if he HADN’T tried before, is it right to punish a kid for having to go outside of a scheduled break?)

So I didn’t ask anymore and figured it happened once, no biggie. Life goes on. I won’t go mama-bear on anyone today.

Then he told me he had a lunch meat sandwich for school lunch. Not that big of a deal, but it fired me up more.  So what’s any mom to do?

Post on Facebook about it.

The overwhelming response from other moms about the bathroom issue sparked an email to his teacher. Quick, short, to the point, and giving HIM the benefit of the doubt. (Names changed to protect those involved)

“Hi Mr. Jones,

I wanted to email you with something that concerned me a little today. Kiddo told me that today he had to miss 5 minutes of recess, because he had needed to use the restroom earlier in the day…at a time which wasn’t at the normal class restroom time. He said he goes into the restroom to try every time a class trip to the bathroom is taken.

 I understand the importance of teaching them to try when everyone else goes, so as not to disrupt class time, but I’m not sure I agree with missing out on fun time because of something they can’t help.
Maybe I’m missing part of the story?
Thank you for your time. Kiddo really does enjoy your class, and I love how much he loves school this year!”
……
And I assumed a logical explanation would be given…and then I got the reply…
bathroom

I didn’t know what to think. My initial reaction was…yeah, no harm no fowl I guess. Probably won’t happen any more.

But then the Facebook motherhood spoke.

What if he had to go #2 (can you poop on demand? can you hold it when you suddenly get the urge?–me neither)

What if he actually HAD gone to the bathroom AND gotten a drink and STILL had to go?
This is one I really believe happened. The teacher couldn’t possibly see all 24/25 kids at all times or keep track of who peed, pooped, got a drink, and/or did all of the above.

Punishment for a natural occurence? Not cool.

What about the fact that this could cause fear issue in the kid in the future. Dude doesn’t want to be punished/miss recess, so he doesn’t ask and has an accident. Embarrassment for days.

And speaking of embarrassment, how does it feel as a 7 year old to have to sit on the sidelines of indoor recess while everyone knows it’s b/c you went to the bathroom unscheduled.

And honestly the more I type the word scheduled, the more upset I get. Do YOU schedule your bathroom breaks?

And even if you do, do you ever ‘go’ out of turn? OF course you do! Nature works like that.

Not to mention the idea of the physical issues that can be caused by holding it. Now I’m not going that far in this instance b/c my kid isn’t suffering any physical issues and won’t because of this instance. But the future implications of continuing this action have to be thought of.

AND….the idea that the teacher said my kid skipped trying to go and opted for a drink instead, only makes me fussier. If I were on a car trip and another passenger had to go, so we stopped at a rest area….I might not feel like I need to go in the slightest. But I might pick up a drink, b/c the car air is dry. OF COURSE that’s going to lead to a bathroom need further on in the trip. Nature, people. Nature.

Look, I’m not good with real life confrontation. I’m one of those people they write memes about…

You know the ones that say:

comeback meme

I’m not good on my feet. I prefer to write. So, I was really hoping that the Facebook motherhood would assure me that I could just let it go, but the more I consider what to make of it all, the angrier I get.

Whether my kid is all-kinda lying about trying to go at the scheduled time or not, taking away what little recess time kids get these days is NOT the answer. When you gotta go, you gotta go. Hands down. And NO ONE..I mean, no one should be given negative consequences. Think of the psychological issues that causes.

Even more, think of the physical issues that HOLDING it could cause, b/c you’re worried about losing privileges.

Insane. Uncalled for. Inexcusable, I think.

I truly do like his teacher. You may not be able to tell b/c of this post. The guy is really really good with the kids and expects a lot out of them (which is normally a good thing), but this idea of discipline for a naturally occurring thing isn’t ok.

If you haven’t had major issues with my kid, or any other, with trying to get out of class to monkey around in the halls or bathroom, then there is no reason to give negative consequences for something that is naturally occurring. Yes, we need to prepare them for life…but they’re 7. And no where in life does it say we don’t have the right to pee/poo when the urge strikes or that we’ll be disciplined for doing so. Period.

What do you think? What would you do? I know teacher’s have a lot of pressure, and I know they have to do something to keep a handle on classroom time management. Am I crazy for being upset?

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