News

There’s No Excuse For Forcing A Small Child To Drop Her Pants At School

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little girl saying noParents in the small Texas town of Gustine are angry this morning, and rightfully so. After a rash of stealth-poops appearing on the elementary school gymnasium floor, two dozen children at the school were subjected to an invasive search: boys were sent to one room, girls to another, and in each location, a school official ordered them to pull down their pants so their underwear could be inspected.

The local ABC News affiliate talked to one of the students, Eliza Medina, who was understandably feeling humiliated about the whole affair. As she told ABC:

“I felt uncomfortable, and I didn’t want to do it[.] I felt like they violated my privacy […] I said I didn’t want to, but I was told I had to because all the kids had to.”

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: if you put my elementary school child in a room and make her pull down her pants for you, I will find you and make you pull out your spleen for me. Through your nose.

Really now, what did anyone hope to accomplish by doing this? If they were looking for telltale fumes or smears, I have a newsflash for them: elementary schoolers are not exactly pro butt-wipers yet. I used to occasionally substitute teach at the elementary level, and the room smelled like a public toilet by the end of the day. Finding a smelly rear does not man you’ve found your Poop Bandit by any stretch of the imagination.

Also, and far more importantly: can we please talk about what a horrific idea it is to tell a small child they have to show you their underpants because an adult said so? Eliza Medina and her classmates told the school officials they were uncomfortable, and those officials in turn told them that their discomfort didn’t matter because “all the kids had to” do it. That is literally the exact opposite lesson I want my children to learn about their bodies. We should be teaching kids that their bodies belong to them, and that no one has the right to make them do something with their bodies that makes them uncomfortable – not that they have to drop trou the second an adult snaps his fingers.

My kids will never be required by me to even hug someone they don’t want to hug, let alone do something like this: so if I find out that someone has made them pull down their pants when they didn’t want to? I don’t really like the phrase ‘mama bear’, but I think ‘maternal velociraptor’ fits pretty well for the occasion.

(Image: Umkehrer/Shutterstock)