Saturday, December 1, 2012

This makes me so sad...

Have you seen this post?   http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Teacher-Charges-Second-Graders-for-Bathroom-Breaks-181634781.html


I woke up and saw this on facebook and I honestly feel sick for this teacher and all the comments I have read.   One person wrote that they would go to her house and hold a gun to her head and make her pee her pants.   People are calling for jail time,  for termination of employment,  a lawsuit,  for her head on a platter.  And no one knows the whole story.   I have read the article 5 times to be sure.   But it does not even say that this child ASKED to use the restroom - it just says he didn't have bucks so he sat back down.

To be very clear... I do think this policy is WRONG.   Using the restroom is not a privilege,  it is a right.   Children should not be charged to go to the restroom,  but there has to be some common sense put into the equation. 

This is a FIRST YEAR teacher.  She has been teaching for less than four months.  She made a mistake.  But can you imagine doing this to any other newbie in any career?   Teachers are thrown in to a classroom their first year.  They are expected to do everything that their seasoned colleagues are doing from day one. We are in our room alone with the kids all day - no one to bounce ideas off of,  no one saying, "hey, let's think that through".  There are NO classes in college that teach bathroom procedures.  She was probably told she needed a procedure, and that students should not be going all day.   No other input.   We do not know how "Boyd's Bucks" are awarded.   Students may be given 20 a day and he had already used his.   The story does not say.   It hurts me so much that people just choose to make her a villian and then start throwing all teachers under the bus with her.

This reminds me of my first year of teaching.  I was teaching fifth grade in a different district on the other side of the state.  I had done so well in college,  I thought student teaching was a dream, I was so sure I was going to do so well in the classroom.  I was so excited.  I thought I was so ready.  I was letting students go to the restroom whenever they needed.   I was called into the principal's office.   Students were purposely clogging the toilets and writing hideous things about each other on the walls.   I was told I needed to have a pass.  One kid at a time.  Period.  So I did what I was told.    Then I had a boy tell me that he needed to go.   I told him he needed to wait until the pass came back.   I did not tell him no,  I told him he needed to wait - until the other child got back.  IN A COUPLE OF MINUTES.  He proceeded to pull down his pants and pee on his desk and the girl in front of him.   I sent him to the office.  

The next day I was met with his furious mother.   She told me she wanted to, "kick my stupid ass". She was completely in support of her child peeing on his desk and another student.  She told me I FORCED him to do this by making him wait.   I was told that even though there was no medical reason,  her child should be allowed to go to the restroom the second he needed to go,  no questions asked. My principal at the time sided with the parent (I am sure to avoid talk of being sued). The child was not given a consequence for peeing on his desk and another student.  I was told off by a parent for doing what I was required to do.  He went about every 20 minutes every day for the rest of the year.  I threw up from stress every single day that year.  He failed.   But he was allowed to go to the bathroom whenever he wanted.  

I felt like a failure and decided I had wasted 4 years of college and all that money. I hated teaching.  And that was before Facebook and social media and the apparent witch hunt for teachers heads.  I could have just as easily been this teacher in a different time and place.  No one would have listened to my story.   I would have just been wrong for making him wait. 

This NEW  teacher made a bad decision her first year of her career.   Did you do everything perfectly your first year of your career?   Did you ever make a mistake?   Were you sued,  threatened at gunpoint or torn to threads on social media for that mistake?   Do you think you should have been fired or jailed?   Do you want this for your precious children their first year of their career? 

I wish I would hug this little sister of mine in education.   I hope she is not reading all these comments,  but I know she is.   She is probably contemplating all her life choices because she made a mistake.  I want to pubicly support her and let her know we have all been there.   Keep your chin up.   You are not a bad teacher because you made one mistake.   I am so thankful I made it through that first year,  you will too!

And I want to remind everyone to think.   To look at all sides of a situation and to withhold judgement,   because we all make mistakes.   Teachers do not teach because it is easy,  or because they want to bully anyone.   They do not teach because they hate children,  quite the opposite.   We teach because we want the best for them,  but we are not perfect.   The hate HURTS us all.

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29 comments:

  1. This is so sad. I still make mistakes. I don't even want to read the comments because they will make me sick. I'm pretty sure parents make mistakes too.

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  2. That's AWFUL! I hadn't heard about it, but the bathroom issue is always such a touchy subject in the classroom. I once had a 4th grader wet her pants because she didn't tell me that she needed to go. Mother was upset, but at least she listened when I said I would have gladly let her go if she asked.

    Don't Let The Teacher Stay Up Late

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  3. I just can't imagine how the poor thing is feeling right now reading all of this! Please spread the word if you can to show support for a fellow teacher!

    Heidi

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    1. yea what a poor thing in control as an authority over children who have no clue...what a poor thing imposing her will upon these children....she has it so hard...she imposed her will upon those under her control limiting a something as basic as removing waste from the body and as a result of her class room law, someone had to suffer consequence that they most likly would never have had to suffer...o the humanity that poor teacher...she like most idiots in govt tried to control the behavior through some arbitrary means and someone suffered because of her...o no poor her...she does her best to manipulate the behavior of others to suit her will and it failed...poor her...


      how about this support a fellow human being...and since both individuals are human beings..im going to support the one who DOSENT try and impose their will upon others to suit her whims...


      no wonder no one has respect for teachers...they do the same thing every year for decades...

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  4. Really really good response Heidi - well thought out and measured. There are too many here (and everywhere on the 'net recently) who "shoot from the hip" and give the short "twitter-type" glib facile nasty smears - fire the b**** etc. How about kids learning to hold it for a few minutes? It's part of growing up. I went to an elementary school in the '50s that was in the same building that the high school was in. I was very intimidated by the big kids in the bathrooms and was afraid to go then. A similar accident happened and I was not "scarred for life". If the parent frets rather than says get over it , move on then the kid will take the cue and make a small incident much larger.
    I feel sorry for these teachers working with undisciplined brats and their nasty parents.
    (Copied from the fb page)

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  5. Excellent. For all teachers who have been in similar situations or will be (and you will). Thanks.

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    1. only teachers would find them selves in a situation like this where something as simply as a bathroom break is belabored upon to no end...what a joke these people are i can remember my school days (late 90s) the teachers would lecture us and discipline us for the most arbitrary crap...ONLY TEACHERS could ever get upset and focus on such mundane and arbitrary issues...

      i guess teachers are alot like politicians they are not good at anything (career politicians) and they LOVE to impose their will upon others and regulating the lives of others...and they love to make issue out of things that to normal people are NON issues...

      teachers and politicians both useless....the REAL teachers are the parents...and if your parents wont teach you then they are idiots and you get the hand your dealt...as it is you are lucky to be born in a first world country...

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  6. When you make dumb rules you make mistakes like this. If she thought before doing this. It would not have been an issue. Did she not think this through? Stupid should hurt. In this case her stupidity hurt a student and she deserves some rage. granted not what you describe above. However, to stand by people who are wrong only says "It's ok" and this it is not. "Did the child ask to use the restroom". When I have to pay for food, I have to assume it is not ok to just go to the store and walk out without paying. Therefore, she put it out there that this was not ok to use the restroom without money. Furthermore, when you are told dumb rules, challenge them. 1. Confront your administration, if that doesn't work. Send home a note explaining the situation and tell the parents. As long as you phrase it as, the school policy is not to allow more than 1 kid out of class at a time for restroom breaks and add no personal opinion to it. Then the parents will take care of it. I will have to respectfully agree to disagree.

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    1. I very much appreciate the respectful part. I never stood up for her policy, but we don't know the whole story and people are calling for her execution in some posts!

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  7. Heidi,
    Thank you for your response. I think this whole thing has hurt several people, and I wish it had never happened. When I taught middle school, the policy was one child out at a time, but students should wait until passing period or lunch. When I moved to elementary school, I was told I could not allow class bathroom breaks. I was also told they could not go during recess, lunch, or on the way to those things. AND, they couldn't go while I was teaching. So when can I let them go? I feel like people who are not teachers do not understand what all goes into decisions teachers make. I know people will always disagree on this issue, but I appreciated your response :)

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    1. yes what do to do...blindly follow orders (which results in TERRIBLE outcomes, nazis for instance) or do the RIGHT thing and allow the children to relieve themselves...it sounds like your school needs to put up a brick wall where the bathroom doorways stand...it seems the kids cant go to the bathroom at all during the school day, you might as well just put locks on a timer that lock the students out of the bathrooms during the day...but this is the kinda of authoritarian indoctrination centers teaching children that what ever the whims of authority however unreasonable MUST be followed...it seems like you went to the same school of authoritarian indoctrination (your college perhaps, i know i had to spend a long time unlearning the crap my admited socialist teachers would try and tell us stuff about how authority should always be obeyed and how anyone who didnt submit to authority had a mental illness)



      again only in public schools is going to the bath room such a big overblown issue...NO WHERE ELSE what a joke...

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  8. Yea this is just setting up the child for the outrageous taxes where you have to pay for things just to exercise your basic rights to normalize it (like the right to travel, or own private property) how could a sane person stand by making the kid pay for bathroom breaks?? having to earn the privilege to use a toilet? you are really standing by this?? all while using the excuse that a minority of students go to the bathroom too frequently and play around?? so because of that we must suspend the rights of everyone?? wow just like the federal govt...some people cant have guns so we must restrict them...some people might have trouble with drugs, so now we must ban them for everyone....

    i guess people know why the public education system is so bad you people back each others foolish ideas and protect each other from the consequences...maybe you people need to re read and learn about the peoples basic rights and not try to do everything in your ability to impose your will upon others (especially children, who dont know any better)


    also leave it to a teacher (those people who we are always told by the media are so smart and hard working,) would make such a BIG deal about using the bathroom..to the point of like buying special made passes and elaborate sign out sheets( ive have time sheets for work that were simpler) all over going to a bathroom...call me old fashioned but i still believe in freedom in the land of the free, if a kid wants to pee every 20 min and fail the class (as you in your article said you did to the kid...) so be it, its their choice...if they vandalize crap, thats a whole other issue that needs to be dealt with separately...thats like punishing all people who drink cuz of a few bad drunk drivers (o yea they do this already) you can always tell the type of person who is a teacher they get all upset and worked up over the smallest and minor things...as a senior in high school a teacher heard me use a swear word in a private conversation...i was dragged down to the office, for that...safe the say the teacher looked like an idiot, just a power hungry piece of garbage that likes to impose their will upon others...thats all you teachers are...

    if any other private entity including the parents, did not allow their child to use the bathroom or toilet for some arbitrary reason, the state would get involved (in fact children are taken from parents for similar reasons like no toilet, and the child wearing cloths that are soiled) time and time again the state is allowed to do with children what NO private entity (including the parents) would be able to do....cop tasers child no consequences, parent spanks child visit from the state....school puts handicap children in padded closet sized room sometimes for arbitrary reasons, the administration (and teachers who post comments) defend it, but parents have lost custody and imprisoned for putting their children in a closet sized room for punishment.....i guess in this fascist country those who work for the govt are not equal under the law, they are above the law....
    fill out and to spend their money on the stuff

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  9. you like most teachers are a joke...in college these idiots in my teaching classes would say the dumbest crap, when doing little teaching exercises they would also suck...(i would teach a class room of children hung over on drugs better than most of the idiots in my classes could sober) and if you are a really stupid future teacher they let you claim a learning disability like "i read slow" and they get extra time on tests (had an x gf PE teacher who had this kind of accommodation, what a retard) i quit that profession as soon as i realized i did nothing but TRAIN the children...the public schools have been reduced to training centers....no longer do they educate children, they simply train them as you a dog...no longer do we educate children to be free and independent thinkers, but we train them to be obedient, to do what they are told exactly how they are told...



    the more i write and think about this the more shortcomings and shortsightedness of teachers seem to come to light...i can go on and on forever...but in short teachers are nothing but idiots who cant DO, so they just teach...they are a bunch of fools who like to impose their will upon others...they are a bunch of authoritarian heavy handed ass holes...only teachers get so worked up over a simple issue of going to the bath room to make huge forms you have to fill out and to spend their money on the stuff

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    1. Wow...just wow. I don't even know how to respond to that. Wow. That is a lot of hate.

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    2. hate?? only the truth...so please respond...or you can just take the side of tyrants who bully and impose their will upon the weakest of us (children)

      also you might be interested in the book
      Deliberate Dumbing Down of America by Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt

      she was Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education during the first term of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and staff employee of the US State Department (South Africa, Belgium, South Korea).



      her book which is aviable free for download, might make you wake up...you might see that blind support for the authority figure (in this case a teacher) is not and will never be good...

      but teachers love to drill into the heads of children that you MUST obey EVERY thing and "authority" tells you, and why must you do this...cuz they are an "authority" of course...that is obvious brainwashing...


      teachers wonder why no one has respect of them...(might have something to do with your blind support of bad teachers that abuse their power
      it might have to do with the fact that they constatly lie and mislead children just like the DARE cops that would come in to the schools...nothing but lies and propaganda...everytime the govt has a idea that it wants to promote, the first place they go is public schools...sometimes they are good things (food pyramid, which they gotten rid of, cant remember the hours our teachers spent drilling this into our heads, for govt kick backs of course)or bad things like how guns (not people who control the guns) are bad...and here is another agenda the teachers love to perpetuate...the fact that we live in a democracy and democracy (majority rule) is the greatest and best thing, and that the minority must submit to the whims of the majority) all lies and misinformation spread constantly by teachers....


      now since im talking to teachers i should explain the last part of that statment....we live in a republic, not a democracy...in a republic even if the majority votes to take away the rights of the minority, that is not law, since in a republic the rights of the people (not just the majority) are protected...

      democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on whats for dinner....
      the way it really is here (or at least used to be) in our republic is one well armed sheep contesting the outcome of the vote....

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  10. look at me im a teacher im so smart but something as basic and fundamental as going to the bathroom is a big huge deal, and a solution to the age old bathroom dilemma has eluded teachers the world over for centuries.....so i will make children fill out whole forms and take premad bathroom passes...(how sad when the world has a need for a license to use the bathroom...what a joke THANK YOU TEACHERS!!!!

    you people are worse than useless...please justify any of what i spoke about...

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  11. Well, I don't feel as if you are going to be willing to listen, but I will try. I have no desire what so ever to control anyone else's voiding or elimination. I am however, responsible for every student in my classroom at all times - whether or not they are in my room. I personally do not use bathroom sign out sheets - but I have a pass - so I know if someone is out of the room. It is not fancy - it is a bottle of hand sanitizer. I need to know if someone is out of the room in case of a fire drill, a lock down whatever. I need to know where to look for the child (the nurse, the bathroom, the office etc.). I am also responsible if something were to happen to a child outside of my room. If there were being hurt in some way, if they are getting sick and need help.

    I have had years where I have had a bathroom in my room. That was the perfect situation. I didn't have to worry about it. There have been incidences where children have been in the restroom and have been "touched" inappropriately by another child (in another class or another grade). Or have been bullied by other students. Of course, the parents are furious, as anyone would be but at who? The teacher. Because we were the adult responsible for keeping their child safe. We can't be in the bathroom and in the classroom at the same time. So the issue has NOTHING to do with trying to regulate anyone else's body or schedule, but in keeping track of where all the kids are and keeping them safe. We can not see everything at all times. If a child were to be hurt in the restroom, we would also be blamed. So... that is the dilemma. What is your take on that? Is a teacher responsible if a child gets hurt in the bathroom, or they run out the door of the school into the street while the teacher is in the classroom? What should teachers do?

    At no point did I say that this teacher did the right thing. I said she made a mistake. I am just freaked out by how many people are ready to hang a new teacher by their toes when we have all made bad judgement calls.

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    1. first of all if a child get hurt in the bathroom i dont see how its the teachers fault...if the child get hurt is either the childs fault for doing something he,she shouldnt, or its the fault of the person who actually hurt them...not some third party (the teacher)....unfortunately we live in modern america where most americans are sue happy idiots...people who sue when they get burned by a coffee (coffee is hot who would have guessed) because most people tolerate and fall in line to a corrupt legal system (among other institutions) its all our faults for going along with it...and if we ever want this to change we must stand up to it and against it..

      also by the time a kid gets to school they NEED to be able to use a bathroom by themselves..if thats not the case the kid is special needs and will have an aid...



      but to be fair alot of teachers could probably see where things were going,and now here we are, and the teachers hands are pretty much completely tied to a bunch of zero tolerance, and other regulatory bull shit...you should have stood up for yourselves a long time ago, i have heard the horror stories from teachers i know...the average person probably wouldnt even believe what goes in in schools especially from some parents...however this was a long time coming and no one did anything...

      i think a line needs to be drawn...the schools are for EDUCATION, education meaning math reading writing something modeled after the trivium and quadrivium nothing about drugs or sex or any of that oftentimes when you look at those special types of programs it also has federal or state money (pay offs to do the brainwashing) that comes with it ...and the parents need to be the parents..parents need to think really hard and need to figure out if they want to take responsibility for their child, and home school him or her...but if they put their child in a public school where you have idiots sending their idiots children i guess blaming the teachers might be slightly misplaced....

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    2. Well, thank you for considering my point of view. The fact is, as the adults in the building we are always going to be held responsible for everything that happens in the building. It is scary. But if it happens on our watch, we are held responsible. AND, most children who are special needs, do not have their own aides. There is not nearly enough budget money for that. I agree, things would change dramatically if we were not always worried about being sued, blamed etc. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE if school was only about TEACHING ACADEMIC curriculum. Most of us would. It is what we think we are going to do when we graduate. It is just not how it all works out. We can't fix the world, but most of us do our best and want the best for the kids we serve. But sometimes it still comes back to bite us in the butt. I appreciate your response.

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  12. EveryoneHatesMe: bitter much? I think I now see why you chose that screen name.

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  13. Did some more thinking i guess the schools is really only a microcosm of society as a whole...and i guess in a society where people like honey boo boo and those who are entertained by such things or even worse the stuff on mtv or really any other tv show, one shoulnt be surprised at anything that goes on in the schools (a quick experiment record a Saturday morning cartoon show and look at the way they advertise to children its amazing the subtle things they add in if you pay attention that are supposed to manipulate them in to actually needing that product)
    the schools are a symptom of society, not society is a symptom of the schools (which is what many believe)

    I was surprised at you are by the name...this was from some like 5 year old google acct that i use only for youtube...the email or the youtube, acct name is not "everyonehatesme" so im not really sure where that came from...

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    1. "the schools are a symptom of society, not society is a symptom of the schools " - I believe this is true. But I also do not believe we are all in a handbasket destined for hell. I think there are still good things happening in our world. I also believe it is important to give people chances, to look at both sides of a story and to assume good intentions, until proven otherwise. Thank you for making me think and defend, it is good practice!
      Heidi

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  15. So, I read this post earlier tonight but didn't respond because all I had to say was that I hadn't heard about the story and I agree with you that the teacher shouldn't be chastised for making a mistake similar to every other first- (or even second- or third-) year teacher. However, I did decide to go read the actual article. Then I watched the attached video. Out of all of that, do you know what I heard? Something to the effect of (and I'm paraphrasing here): when the principal was asked about this, he said he had no idea about what was happening with this situation. Seriously? I do not blame this teacher at all, and I do not think that she should be fired or suspended or anything of the like. What this teacher needs is a mentor, not a lynch mob. Why isn't the administrator of the building checking in with this teacher? Why doesn't he know about her behavior reporting system? Why doesn't he know what "Boyd Bucks" are? Why doesn't he know how the bucks system works? That is unacceptable, in my opinion. Which brings me to reiterate - this whole bathroom thing (although the actual bathroom piece of it is being blown out of proportion... Maybe Mom's attempt at her 15 minutes of fame?) cannot be blamed on this FIRST-year teacher. Things like how to manage basic things like bathroom breaks are not part of any teacher preparation program. Personally, I think 3 bathroom breaks per day is plenty and the students should manage themselves accordingly. I do know that there will be "emergencies" and students should be permitted to take care of their business, but like Heidi said, it's about accountability rather than control.

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    1. With all of that said, I actually have a restroom in my classroom. I still had a child wet herself because she was waiting to use it. When she had her accident, I called home (I have a telephone in my classroom, too... I know, I'm spoiled. Lol) and Grandma brought clothes. No big deal. No one was upset. No one was scarred for life. In fact, the incident was all but forgotten until this article came up, and I am obviously the only person that remembers. Ha! The truth of the matter is this: No one made a big deal of my student's accident. No one blew it out of proportion. No one got upset because I didn't send the girl down the hall to use someone else's restroom. No one called the school board office to complain, no one wanted me fired, no one really cared about the situation (or at least they didn't make it known that they cared). The principal wasn't even involved until I told her about it after school "just in case" someone called to ask about it. No one called her. This little girl is not bullied in my classroom even though she wet herself. The situation was handled as appropriately as I know how. And no, I do not have children of my own (a major point in most of the "fire her" comments on the article). I have just been a teacher for enough time to know what to expect out of a situation; a courtesy that this FIRST-year teacher didn't have. (And, for the record, I was guilty of this exact same situation during my first year in the classroom... Students in my classroom earned a daily "salary" for coming to school each day - just as I earn a paycheck for going to work - and they earned bonuses for going above and beyond expectations. They were fined for breaking rules, just as you would be fined for speeding - a list of infraction-based fines was posted. Things during the day came up, and I remember one girl - whose mother was in my classroom at the time, mind you - who asked immediately after returning to the classroom if she could go to the restroom. I asked her if it was worth $1 to her. My thoughts: If it wasn't worth the payment, she didn't really have to go. She said no, and she waited until the next bathroom break. Her mother did not complain. Her mother did not question. Her mother did not threaten to have me fired. I know now, after having more experience, that this was not the best use of "the system," but what did I know during my first year? No more than a first-year doctor, but no one's going to demand his career be ended if he messes up a blood pressure reading... or a first-year dentist who doesn't give enough Novocain before drilling into that cavity.)

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  16. Come on, (some of you) teachers. Being a new teacher does not give you a pass when it comes to stupidity. What kind of experience other than common sense must you have to realize that making a child pay to use the bathroom is a bad idea? Answer: None.

    Don't you have any damned common sense?

    I worked in the schools and saw the good and the bad. I wouldn't teach if you paid me though, because as was mentioned, if something goes wrong, the administration will hang you out to dry.

    Even so - if you're too stupid to realize that making a kid pay (even in fake money) to use the restroom is a bad idea, then I don't want you teaching my kids.

    I don't think that the teacher should be fired, but she needed to be made aware what a dunderheaded idea her "pay to pee" plan was. I'm shaking my head at the stupidity.

    As for the administration? Kids have to use the bathroom and some will abuse it. Make a sensible policy or have someone on potty duty or whatever. The teachers can't be in the bathroom and the classroom at the same time, and kids can't pee on a pre-set schedule.

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  17. I agree she needed to be told her plan was wrong. I agree her plan is wrong. I don't have any issue with her being reprimanded, written up, etc. What I have said from the beginning is that she made a rookie mistake, albeit a big one. I don't think she deserves to be fired, accused of abuse, have a gun brought to her head, our to be ripped apart in the media. If the kiddo is embarrassed, it was only multiplied by mom going to the news. It has been made so much worse for everyone.
    In a perfect world there would be bathroom monitors, but this is never going to happen with budgets as they are. It is a tricky situation....because student safety is our biggest responsibility. We have to keep them safe in order to educate them. I think that is often over looked.

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