Has your child ever complained of not being allowed to use the bathroom at school? Teachers who say no to children using the bathroom have always been a huge pet peeve of mine. I can’t understand why a teacher would deny a child going to the bathroom; it’s not only a normal body function, dare I say it’s a personal right?
There are so many reasons why children should be allowed to use the bathroom at school when they need to, and the top reason is health. Kids’ bladders are not as mature as adults and it’s common sense that they will need to use the bathroom more often. Furthermore, having a child hold their urine can be damaging. It can cause the child’s bladder to overfill and leak urine which only makes things worse. Once this happens, children often develop urinary tract infections which in turn can lead to an irritable or overactive bladder.
What astounds me is when teachers say they don’t want the child to lose instruction time, but how can kids learn when they are worrying about having an accident? Even worse, what about the social and mental ramifications of having an accident in the classroom?
One mom in Spokane, Washington said that her second grade son was denied using the bathroom after already using the restroom twice. He then had an accident and the teacher made him sit the rest of the day in soiled pants. The teacher didn’t call the mom to bring another set of clothes.
How many adults are denied using the bathroom at work? What always bothers me is when children are denied personal rights simply because they are young.
I have taught in different classrooms before and I never viewed a bathroom break as a disruption. A child will not miss much in the three minutes it takes to relieve themselves. Part of being a good teacher and educator is being sensitive to a child’s needs. Some children are so shy, they can barely raise their hand to ask a teacher to use the bathroom. When a teacher denies them, or says they don’t allow it from the beginning, it can produce a great amount of stress in these students. I have known quite a few children through friends of my own kids who have been unnecessarily stressed out over using the bathroom in school. If a child feels uncomfortable at school, how can they thrive?
What’s the bathroom policy at your school? Has your child ever had an accident? How did the teacher respond?