I guess we can file this one in the “What were they thinking?” pile. A mother in Washington state is suing her child’s school because her 9-year-old daughter peed her pants after being made to wait to use the restroom. Why? Because she ran out of the Monopoly money that the students are made to use to pay for bathroom breaks. Yes, “pay.”
Apparently students at Mill Plain Elementary, in Vancouver Washington, are given Monopoly money to use for bathroom breaks and other “privileges” such as snacks. Yes, this school thinks going to the freaking bathroom is the same thing as having a tasty treat. According to KOIN 6, two girls, on separate occasions, used all their play money to buy snacks and had none leftover for bathroom breaks. When they had to go, the teacher refused their request, in what I’m guessing was an extremely misguided attempt at teaching them fiscal responsibility. Because nothing teachers a third grader about finances more than humiliation in front of their peers. Eventually the girls couldn’t hold it in any longer and both urinated on themselves.
The worst part is, instead of being upfront about the reasons behind the incidents, the school was content to let the parents worry until the girls finally spoke up about the whole play money aspect. According to one mother, Merchon Ortega:
“My daughter finally told me, ”˜We have to pay to use the bathroom.’ Nobody should have to pay to use the bathroom. I didn’t let her go to school the rest of the week because she was scared to go to school,’ Ortega lamented. ”˜She’s scared to be made fun of.”
The week before Ortega’s daughter’s accident, another mother, Jasmine Alayadhi, says a similar thing happened to her daughter. According to KOIN:
“[She] didn’t want to be left out. [She] wanted to have popcorn with her friends. And so she tried to hold it…She said it hurt so bad the pain was so bad [She] just had to let it go,’ Alayadhi said.”
Of course, a spokesperson for the school defended the program, saying it’s a paty of the school’s “classroom management strategy,” which sounds to me like a fancy way of saying “too lazy to actually manage the classroom” strategy. According to the spokesperson, Gail Spolar:.
“It’s all part of how they manage the classroom and so that was the process decided on. Students are afforded multiple bathroom breaks throughout the day and have never been denied using a restroom in an emergency.”
Except when they’re not. According to Fox News, the girls have switched classrooms and are doing better, but Ortega isn’t satisfied and is still planning to sue the school:
”˜My next step is hopefully trying to take legal action. My daughter has got to go to counseling because it’s really messed with her emotions.”
Can you imagine how embarrassed those kids had to be? I once peed myself in first grade from laughing too hard at recces and I was called “Pee Pants McGee” for two years (kids aren’t very clever, are they?). I’m not usually one to defend a lawsuit like this, but looking back on my own humiliation, I can understand this mother’s fury. I hope they end this embarrassing and inhumane practice, and a lawsuit might be just the thing to make them change it.