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School's policy on toilet breaks?


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#1 Kwyjibo

Posted 31 March 2012 - 01:47 AM

DD1 is in Y1 and today came home with wet trousers as she had wet herself in class. At first she told me she had been splashed by the water fountain but the smell of urine led me to believe otherwise. She told me that the teacher had told her to wait until recess. She couldn't hold it in.

I'm going to speak with the teacher on monday but was wondering if anyone knows what the actual policies are when it comes to toilet breaks. I would have presumed that if a young child needs to go then they would have been allowed to go.

#2 =Magpie=

Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:08 AM

I will be watching this with interest as we are having the same issues but with 'number two's'.
Personally I think they are too young (DS is in Gr2) to be expected to wait.


#3 kidwrangler

Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:47 AM

Most children, most of the time can wait. The problem for teachers is that some children, some of the time use toilet breaks as a means to avoid class time, while others have a physiologically urgent need and small window of time. It's often hard to tell the difference. It also seems to happen that one child leaves, takes a friend, then another child needs to go and so on. It is very hard in a class of 25(ish) children to co-ordinate the toilet breaks. No teacher is going to deliberately leave a child to soil themselves.

If your child has toileting issues, just send in a note. If it was a one-off, ask the teacher what their class rule is and how your child can be clear that they genuinely need to go. Let the teacher know what happened and I am sure they'll be a lot more aware the next time.

I am sorry this happened to your DD. I hope it was a genuine misunderstanding between her and the teacher and doesn't ever happen again. Usually by year 1 they would be limiting their class-time toilet breaks, but also the teachers at that age level are usually aware of the urgency involved when a request is made. Does she often ask? Is she a last-minute type of toiletter? I think a bit of a chat with your DD about her needs, and then a chat with the teacher, should be able to sort things out so it doesn't happen again.

#4 DEVOCEAN

Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:53 AM

In DD's class if one child wants to go to the class the teacher will ask the others who needs to go. Then pick a child of the same sex.
They are pretty good with letting kids use the toilet.

#5 FearsomeFeralFreak

Posted 31 March 2012 - 06:45 AM

My child is in year 1 and they can only go to the toilet at recess and lunch. They don't seem to have any problems because I think they started to get the kids used to the idea in kindee.

#6 ~Supernova~

Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:17 AM

The policy at DD's school is break time only. This has caused no end of stress for us as DD suffers from chronic constipation, and when she has to go, she HAS TO GO. We had problems in prep and grade 1 with her sometimes soiling herself and I was livid when told she hadn't been allowed to go to the toilet. Her prep teacher refused to listen to me, but thankfully her grade 1 and 2 teachers were fantastic when I explained the situation. She is the only one in her class who is allowed to go at absolutely any time, which I find wrong, but it's the policy.

I know that teachers are trying to minimise disruption to teaching time, but little kids often just cannot hold on, and I think they deserve the same respect as adults have - they go to the toilet as, and when they need to.

#7 DEVOCEAN

Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:20 AM

As adults we have the freedom to go to the toilet 'when we need to go'.
So why should the kids be made to wait?


#8 mum850

Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:22 AM

I agree with the PPs, the reason it's an issue is that sometimes every kid in the class then wants to go too so the teacher makes a blanket rule. The trick is telling an "I want to get out of class" from a genuine "I am busting".

#9 Goggie

Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:08 AM

I'm so sorry for your DD. This happened to me in prep and I have never forgotten it. We could only go at recess and lunch and in between those I asked the teacher to go and she said no. I was a young prep so was still 4 at the time. I was embarrassed, my brother laughed at me when I got in the car that afternoon with the smell of number 2's and it's one of my worst memories of primary school. My mum went into school the next day and ripped shreds off the teacher and principal. From then on they had new rules where you could go anytime but take someone with you.

#10 Expelliarmus

Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:17 AM

QUOTE (fairyflossfart @ 31/03/2012, 09:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As adults we have the freedom to go to the toilet 'when we need to go'.
So why should the kids be made to wait?

Not all adults.

When I worked in hospitality I had to wait for breaks or a suitable break in customer flow. In my current job I can only go on breaks. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I cannot go from 9:20am until 1:00pm. There are places where no, you cannot just go as you please.

School is one of these places. kidwrangler gives spot on advice.

#11 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:28 AM

Agree on principle that kids should be able to when they need to. But when you have a class of 24-30 kids going when ever they want and the rest going because the others are.. it's very disruptive for everyone and not much work gets done.

DD is in grade 2 this year and at the start of the teacher let them go whenever. But she had to put a stop to it because kids were going to the toilet all the time and they were not getting the work done. The national curriculum has been introduced at the school and they are really pushed to get all the work done they are now required to do (don't get me started on that). So the rule is if you go during class time you have to stay in a lunch and catch up on what you have missed.

Prep kids can go at anytime but their toilets are next door to the class room so it's not as disruptive. And no one gets laughed at at school if you do have an accident.

QUOTE
As adults we have the freedom to go to the toilet 'when we need to go'.
So why should the kids be made to wait?


Never worked in a job that I could wander off to the toilet anytime I wanted. DH works in hospitality and he cannot walk off in the middle of a coffee service or serving a board room full of executives lunch.

Edited by Princess.cranky.pants, 31 March 2012 - 11:31 AM.


#12 Expelliarmus

Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:37 AM

Also, if it's right before a break when you are trying to finish off/pack up and in every FYOS/Year 1 class I have and do teach when one child needs to go, miraculously the rest need to go. It's truly uncanny ... Then no finishing and no packing up gets done. It's an unusual teacher who doesn't ask a child if they can wait until the break when the break is within 10 minutes.

Note I said ask the child if they can wait - not make them wait.

#13 mks81

Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:51 AM

How absurd making a child wait till break time. I know I wouldn't be able to concentrate if I was busting to go and had to wait 30 more minutes, etc. Daughter has always been allowed to go on her own when needed, except for prep when they went in a buddy system.

Edited as just noticed the above poster...agree though if less then ten minutes in that case, but I think a teacher could tell if a kid is busting.

Edited by mks81, 31 March 2012 - 11:54 AM.


#14 new~mum~reenie

Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:54 AM

I find this incredible - that little kids are MADE to wait.

Even in highschool you can just put up your hand and go when required.

And to the PP  who worked in hospitality, if you NEED to go you would not be expected to keep going until your bladder distends or you soil yourself. And that is with a bigger bladder and better 'control' than a 6 year old.

None of my own schooling years had such a policy.

I would be very angry OP...

#15 mks81

Posted 31 March 2012 - 12:00 PM

Just asked OH what happens in a heavy shift at work, (hospitality) if a staff asks him to go, do they get made to wait. He looked at me like I had two heads...no, if they need to go, they need to go. OH works where they can have 60 plus head deep needing service in rush times.


Saying that if its a policy in some schools and they don't have accidents...does it work.

My bladder, (abet being squeezed atm by bubby) is wincing at the thought of waiting.

#16 Expelliarmus

Posted 31 March 2012 - 12:05 PM

QUOTE (new~mum~reenie @ 31/03/2012, 12:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And to the PP  who worked in hospitality, if you NEED to go you would not be expected to keep going until your bladder distends or you soil yourself. And that is with a bigger bladder and better 'control' than a 6 year old.


No, and neither is a small child expected to keep going until soiling.

What people fail to see in the outrage over a toileting accident is that small children are often still not adept at using the toilet.

Some children, for example, wait until it is too late to ask and even if you see them dancing and send them straight away they don't make it despite running.

Some children, for example insist they don't need to go during a toilet break and then insist on going two minutes later after the teacher has started explaining the task and because the teacher wants the child to hear the instruction the teacher asks them to wait.

Some children, for example, will ask to go right as you are leaving the room to go somewhere else and are asked to wait until on the way or until they get to the new destination so as not to hold up the rest of the class.

When a child is asked to wait - not MADE, ASKED, sometimes the participants get it wrong. Teachers don't get some sort of Machiavellian pleasure from asking a child to wait, it's a classroom management decision which sometimes goes awry due to the immaturity of the child, the teacher misreading the child's cues or a classroom policy that isn't currently working and needs to be adjusted.

OP, there is no 'schools policy' on toilet breaks. This is usually managed at a local level - usually a classroom level.

ETA: in hospitality I had to wait until I was able to be relieved which was my break, a break in customers or, in some cases, until a manager could take my customers. It was managed fairly but there were times I had to wait, yes.

It's worth noting that teachers cannot go whenever they choose. Yes. I have to wait. It'd have to be an exceptional circumstance (eg. sudden onset of gastro) for me to be able to call someone to oversee my class for toileting reasons.

Edited by howdo, 31 March 2012 - 12:08 PM.


#17 Cat©

Posted 31 March 2012 - 12:10 PM

I hate any schools toileting policy for children. At a minimum there should be exceptions to the rule or something else implemented so that children who can hold it aren't afraid to ask to go.

They did this to my boys at school and I complained, they made a rule that if they went in between breaks then they lost thier class team points - it was a horrid rule but now abolished. Children were being ridiculed in class by peers and even medical issues were being ignored.

As a pp said, as adults we aren't expected to hold it - well not until morning tea or lunch if we simply can't. I have NEVER had a job (and Ive had quite a few in various industries) where I could not excuse myself within about 10 mins of realising I need the bathroom.

There would be an outcry if adults were expected to hold it until lunch or morning tea if they couldnt, so why are children different?

Imagine dancing around in front of clients and crossing your legs or even wetting your self in front of clients as you simply forgot to go or drank extra that made you want to urinate sooner than usual. Would never happen.

Sure children get it wrong, forget, leave it too late, thats just children, but if there is a teacher who says they cant go or that they must hold it till the bext break - honestly how many children are going to go against that or have the courage to speak up and insist they need to go. Teachers should be suggesting that all children go at the break but to put thier hand up if they cant hold it - but many I have heard myself actualy tell the children that they can only go in break times.

Edited by Cat©, 31 March 2012 - 12:15 PM.


#18 Expelliarmus

Posted 31 March 2012 - 12:18 PM

QUOTE (Cat© @ 31/03/2012, 01:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There would be an outcry if adults were expected to hold it until lunch or morning tea if they couldnt, so why are children different?

I have to manage my toilet breaks to happen at morning tea and lunch. In fact on Tuesdays in particular I have to manage it to happen at lunch only, I don't get morning tea. I don't hear anyone outcrying it. It's an accepted fact.

But I'll say it again, there is no 'schools policy' that expects children to 'wait until breaks'. What 'policy' is everyone talking about?

As I said as a classroom management decision a teacher may ask a child to wait until a break but this is not a policy, a teacher cannot enforce this and only dialogue of children's toileting or communication needs with the teacher will affect the situation if your child is not making it through the day without soiling. At some point either the child or the teacher is not communicating appropriately.

#19 Overtherainbow

Posted 31 March 2012 - 09:43 PM

QUOTE
As adults we have the freedom to go to the toilet 'when we need to go'.


I have yet to be in a job that allows me to go to the toilet whenever I need to.  Horrible as an adult when you know your period is about to start, trying to juggle tampons to last time difference as well as just really needing to go to the bathroom.

The problem with children is that they may go in the break times but they also generally drink more fluid at that time.  If it takes around 30 minutes for that fluid to become urine, they are going to need to go again, during class time.

A wise teacher would learn which children are 'milking' the system and which ones really need to go and work accordingly.  If a child is constantly going to the bathroom, they need a reminder to go in break times and the teacher needs to speak with the parent to ensure that the child doesn't have a medical reason for frequent bathroom trips.

#20 EsmeLennox

Posted 31 March 2012 - 10:08 PM

Um, actually, I think many are overlooking the obvious WRT adults waiting - no teacher in charge of a class will be going to the toilet until break time!
I know I never did when in the classroom, you *have* to wait. Sometimes I woul dbe busting, painfully so, but you. have. to. wait.

That said, young children should not be made to wait excessively, but if it's 5-10 mins to break, then they should be encouraged to hang on.

High school students do not get to go to the toilet whenever they please either, again, when I was teaching in a classroom environment I would not allow kids to go within about the first 15 mins of class, or the last 10 mins or so.  But, high school kids also have a chance to go between classes which can be every 40mins to 1 hour unless it's a double period, and even then, most teachers allow a brief toilet/drink break after an hour or so.

#21 Julie3Girls

Posted 31 March 2012 - 10:19 PM

No standard policy at our school. It all depends on the teacher.

Most of the teachers so far have taken the attitude that if kids need to go, they go. It's just a matter of learning to tell when the kids actually mean it.

Several of the teachers have explained their policy to the parents, using the same method. When they first ask, the teacher will generally ask if they can wait 5 minutes.  If they really need to go, they will ask again, usually with in a minute or 2 and she'll let the child go to the toilet. Of course, the teacher also uses common sense, and will simply say yes if they think it is urgent.

They always need to go in pairs. I know DD's 3rd grade teacher started the year with a policy of if they needed to go, it wasn't simply taking their best friend. Instead the teacher will pick someone.  Takes away the temptation of asking for a toilet trip to chat with a friend.

if there are any known issues, you just speak to the teacher as well. We had that issue in year 1.  After talking to the teacher we let DD know that if she needed to go, she was to simply get up and run if she needed to. Got us through a rough patch.

#22 whatnamenow

Posted 31 March 2012 - 10:26 PM

i used to work on melbourne cup day at the races on the tote and was told bring food you can snack on during the day and not to much water as you wont be able to stop serving customers for anything the entire shift.  thats 8am - 6pm no toilet, food or drink breaks!!  We were however compensated for this wonderfully so we all putup with it.
Not all adult jobs you can leave whenever you want.


As for kids i think if its an issue just ask the teacher.  She is probably well aware of what happened and will be happy to talk to you about what happened and try and find a solution that works for everyone.

#23 Kathryn74

Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:47 PM

At our school, the children go when they need to- and are sent in a group of 3- even if it is 5 minutes til break.  No-one is made to wait.

I liked our old (Montessori) school where the toilets were off the classrooms for younger levels (kinder - Grade 3), so children just went when they needed to.

#24 Mumsyto2

Posted 03 April 2012 - 05:40 PM

I would never work in a job where I could not go to the toilet when I needed.  Before kids it would not have been an issue but after kids, no way. I could keep serving people or whatever you do in jobs where you cannot take a break but there would be one heck of a mess for a cleaner to deal with (god knows I would not be cleaning it if it was a 'rule' that I could not use a bathroom).

If I expect adults can use the bathroom when they need to then I don't see why children cannot.  I know at my kids school all of the classrooms are in pairs with an internal connecting  door so if a teacher needs to go (or indeed if they go to a meeting or whatever) then they just open the door and the teacher next door keeps an eye on both classes - so what's good for one is good for all.  The school is old so whoever designed the rooms way back when used common sense at least, you probably would not see that in today's designs !!

#25 Lyn29

Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:01 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 31/03/2012, 01:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No, and neither is a small child expected to keep going until soiling.

What people fail to see in the outrage over a toileting accident is that small children are often still not adept at using the toilet.

Some children, for example, wait until it is too late to ask and even if you see them dancing and send them straight away they don't make it despite running.

Some children, for example insist they don't need to go during a toilet break and then insist on going two minutes later after the teacher has started explaining the task and because the teacher wants the child to hear the instruction the teacher asks them to wait.

Some children, for example, will ask to go right as you are leaving the room to go somewhere else and are asked to wait until on the way or until they get to the new destination so as not to hold up the rest of the class.

When a child is asked to wait - not MADE, ASKED, sometimes the participants get it wrong. Teachers don't get some sort of Machiavellian pleasure from asking a child to wait, it's a classroom management decision which sometimes goes awry due to the immaturity of the child, the teacher misreading the child's cues or a classroom policy that isn't currently working and needs to be adjusted.

OP, there is no 'schools policy' on toilet breaks. This is usually managed at a local level - usually a classroom level.

ETA: in hospitality I had to wait until I was able to be relieved which was my break, a break in customers or, in some cases, until a manager could take my customers. It was managed fairly but there were times I had to wait, yes.

It's worth noting that teachers cannot go whenever they choose. Yes. I have to wait. It'd have to be an exceptional circumstance (eg. sudden onset of gastro) for me to be able to call someone to oversee my class for toileting reasons.

Thanks for saving me having to type that up, Howdo! Agree on all points.

QUOTE (Cat© @ 31/03/2012, 01:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There would be an outcry if adults were expected to hold it until lunch or morning tea if they couldnt, so why are children different?

There are nearly 300,000 teachers in Australia - and most of those have to wait until break time, as I am sure many other industries must!

Seriously people, what kind of sadists do you think teachers are? It's hardly in their own interests (for those who don't believe they do things in the children's interests) for a child to wet or soil themselves. It's completely appropriate to ask a child if they "really" need to go or could they wait until the next break (if it's within 15 minutes). If they can't wait - they go. If they can wait, please do.




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