School Toilet Trial is a Terrible Idea

Teachers should stop being so precious about time wasted due to toilet breaks.  Of course it’s not ideal to have children come in and out of the classroom from the toilet whilst you are teaching a skill or conducting a classroom discussion.  I don’t doubt that students have the option in going at break times but choose not to, and they must learn to take those opportunities.  I also know that some students use it as an excuse to leave the classroom whilst not needing to go to the toilet.

But ultimately, so what?

The frustrations listed above should never lead to an imposed trial which could result in children wetting themselves.  I would rather have lessons impaired on a constant basis that have even one child wetting themself on account of a harsh rule I have introduced.

I never want to involve myself at any time with a trial like the one at Kew Primary School:

PARENTS are alarmed that children at a primary school in Melbourne’s east began wetting themselves after the school tested an approach that discouraged them from going to the toilet in class time.

In the Kew Primary School trial, which parents said was conducted without their knowledge, the entire class would go to the toilet if one child needed to go during a lesson.

One mother, who asked not to be named, said she first became aware of the trial when her child wet herself at the front door. ”I said, ‘What happened? She said, ‘I’m holding on, I didn’t want the whole class to have to come with me to the toilet.’ At first when she told me the rule I disbelieved her.”

Another mother took her high-achieving child to the doctor after she wet herself twice at home.

”She hasn’t done this since she was three,” the mother said. ”There was a kind of ripple effect where parents slowly became aware of changes in their children. Children were complaining of headaches, they were constipated, they weren’t drinking water and were coming home with full drink bottles.”

A group of parents wrote to Kew Primary principal Kim Dray, expressing their concern about the trial and citing medical research about the impact of constipation on children.

In an email, obtained by The Age, Dr Dray said the ”whole class” method of toilet break supervision was ”used successfully by some other schools” and was being tested by some classes.

”Team leaders met at the end of last week to discuss the trialled approaches, and although you may find this surprising, some commented on a decrease in disruption to class lessons, especially in senior and specialist classes,” she wrote.

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2 Responses to “School Toilet Trial is a Terrible Idea”

  1. Carl D'Agostino Says:

    I taught high school. Yeah, bathroom one of the must disruptive problems. Whole class was great, except administrators frown upon it. I let them go one at a time after my lesson delivery was made. Next person could not go until last one returned. Because all the mean and stupid(in my opinion) teachers never let these kids go, my arrangement was appreciated and rarely abused.

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