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New School Policy: If Student Needs To Use Toilet During Class Time, Entire Class Goes With Him

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How ridiculous is this? A primary school in Melbourne is discouraging children from going to the bathroom during class time. So much so that they’ve implemented a new trial in which the entire class goes to the bathroom if just one child needs to use the toilet. Um, what?!

Here’s the really crazy part: parents only learned of this new policy when their children started wetting themselves at home. One mother told The Sydney Morning Herald that her daughter had an accident at the front door, which was totally out of character. She asked her daughter what’s going on, only to be told, “I’m holding on, I didn’t want the whole class to have to come with me to the toilet.” Other parents also began noticing changes in their children – like the fact that they were complaining of headaches, they were constipated or they were coming home with full water bottles.

Needless to say, parents approached Kew Primary School principal Kim Dray with their concerns and were told via email that this particular bathroom-break method has been used successfully by some other schools, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. That didn’t go over well with some parents, who wrote letters of complaint to Melbourne’s education minister.

The school has since adopted a new policy where children go to the bathroom in groups of three.

Child psychologist Louise Porter told The Sydney Morning Herald that the “whole-class toilet trial” is ludicrous. ”I’m horrified by the lack of trust of children and the intrusion into their personal body functions. It’s completely predictable it would lead to children refusing to go to the toilet and it would be disruptive to have 25 children wandering around the school.”

I agree with Porter and am astounded that this policy was tested in the first place – especially without parents’ knowledge. It is so humiliating to children, for starters, and it’s no surprise that many of these kids ended up just holding it in ’til they got home. It’s one thing to ask children to use the bathroom before a lesson begins – just the way we might ask our kids to do so before going on a long car ride, for instance – it’s another thing to expect them to be robotic about when they might need to go. These are kids, after all. Even adults will have to occasionally leave a conference room during an important meeting to use the loo (admit it!).

(Photo: iStockphoto)