Some time ago, Redditor p_i_see_you shared a true period horror story that is awful not simply because blood and embarrassment but because the school where this took place is borderline abusive. In great length, p_i_see_you explained how her 12-year-old daughter bled through her pants on her period. This happened because the girl had already used up her allowed bathroom trips.
The school, because it's a "safety issue," only allows kids a very small number of bathroom trips during class time. Otherwise, they can hit the toilet during the three whole minutes between classes. If these kids fancy taking a calming crap during lunch, that's not allowed. As the parent's story will describe, going to the bathroom can result in detention. There may be a lot of text here but stick with it because the crazy keeps coming.
So, my daughter is 12 and is in middle school. Today she came home and told me that she started her period and bled through her pants. When I asked why she didn't go to the bathroom, she said she already used her five time limit for the nine weeks. I asked what happens after she used up the five times, she said that she would get detention. She said she asked the teacher but the teacher told her no unless she wanted to explain why she needed to go. IMO, a 12 year old girl shouldn't have to stand up in front of her class and tell everyone she's on her period. She was pretty upset and apologized, I'm more upset the school would allow this. There is nothing in the school policy about this five time bathroom limit, the kids only have 3 minutes in between classes, she's not allowed to go during lunch, and if she gets too many detentions she's off her softball team! When did schools agree that going to the bathroom is a privledge and not a right?!
The mother then returned to her Reddit comment to add a few updates which, amazingly, make this whole situation even more despicable.
Update 1: So I'm sorry but I guess this post was removed for Rule 3... I apologize for getting people worked up... I just thought it was a WTF thing?! Will people still be able to see if I do an update?
Update 2: Sorry it took a little longer than I thought it would be to get out an update. I left work at 7am and got to my daughter's school at around 7:30 and had to wait about 20 minutes to meet with the assistant principal. Here is a brief synopsis of the conversation:
Me: (I took notepad with me to write down the answers because it's against the law to record someone without their knowledge in my state) Gave her a brief run down of what happened with my daughter yesterday and the name of the teacher that caused all the problems. Then I asked if she could show me where the bathroom policy was located in the school handbook. Assistant Principal: Told me that she didn't really know the handbook very well and that the principal was the one who usually handled that. ME: So, there's not a "real" policy for bathroom breaks and this pass that allows five bathroom breaks in a nine week period. AP: Again, the Principal would know more about that. ME: What happens after the kids use the five breaks. My daughter told me that they get detention. AP: After they use the five breaks then they get an additional three tardies, on the 4th tardy they get an unexcused absence and a letter is sent home. On tardies 5-7, they get detention. On the 8th tardy they get another unexcused absence and an in-school suspension. ME: How many detentions can a student have before it affects their standing in athletics? (My daughter is on the softball team) AP: Well, it won't affect anything, she might get fussed at by her coach. ME: So, they won't miss out on field trips or team meets that are out of town? AP: Oh well, yes, it could affect her standing in athletics and she would not be allowed to go on field trips at the end of the year and after school activities. ME: How much time do they have in between classes. My daughter told me three minutes to get from class to class. AP: Well, I think it's four minutes...(thought about it for a minute) no, it's only three minutes. But that is enough time to get to another class and still use the bathroom. And she can always stop by the class she is supposed to go to and tell them that she needs to use the bathroom. But they can still give her a tardy, it's just a courtesy. ME: So, you feel that three minutes is enough time to get all her books together, go to the bathroom, deal with her feminine issue and then get to the next class? AP: Well, you could always email her teachers and explain the situation but again, they don't have to abide by that. But the female teachers are pretty sensitive about feminine issues. ME: But what does my child even have to say anything? She's 12, why does she have to stand in front of the classroom and tell the teacher in front of 30 students and say she's having her period? AP: Well, some kids could take advantage of it and... ME: Are the kids allowed to go the bathroom during lunch? AP: Well, if I'm in the lunch room I let them go to the bathroom. ME: So, you allow it but other teachers might not? AP: Well, once lunch is done then the kids line up and go to the next class and they can go to the bathroom at that time. ME: What happens if the bell rings while they are in the bathroom. AP: Then they get a tardy. ME: So, since they don't get a chance to use the bathroom during lunch, do they have a break time in between classes longer than 3 minutes? AP: No, but they are usually allowed to go during PE or an electives class. (She started looking up my daughter's schedule) Well, she's in percussion in first period and PE in second period so I recommend that she goes to the bathroom before she leaves PE. ME: So, she would have to go the bathroom before 9:30am and then hold it? Are the students allowed to use other bathrooms...like they can use any bathroom? AP: No, they can only use the bathroom that is on their wing (7th graders can only use 7th grade bathrooms) ME: Told her that I was very upset with what happened yesterday and if there was any reason that a child might be allowed to go to the bathroom more than the number of times allotted between classes or on the pass. AP: Well, if you could get a doctor's note, this whole thing is moot. ME: I told her that I shouldn't have to take my child to the doctor and pay for the note saying something that should just be common sense.
This determined parent continued on her mission to expose this school's insane bathroom rules.
I left the school and drove 26 miles to the school district and spoke with the assistant superintendent. Met with him, gave him a run down and went over the notes that I took down and relayed the answers that the AP gave me. He apologized for what happened to my daughter and then stated that there was no bathroom policy for the district because he said that there shouldn't be a policy on something that is common sense. He said that she shouldn't have to say that she is having a feminine issue, all she needs to say is that she is having an emergency. He said, granted that she couldn't take advantage of it and that if it was becoming a problem, that she might need to be seen by a doctor. I explained that most of the passes were for after lunch, and she has gone the first two 9 weeks without having a problem. Then I said that I thought it was crazy that they were not allowed to go to the bathroom during their lunch, which he was also shocked to hear. I asked him if he thought that 3 minutes was a reasonable amount of time to get out of class, go to the bathroom, and get to the next class (not to mention a teen girl on her period). He said that the layout of our middle school is not the greatest and that it is very disjointed so he could see where it would take more time if she was in a different wing. He said that they have been looking at making the class periods smaller so that they have more time in between classes but that would not fix the short term problems with children not being allowed to go the bathroom. He told me that he was going to get in touch with the AP that I spoke with and the Principal and start an investigation regarding my concerns. He told me that if the principal did not call me back today that he would. I told him I was worried about any retaliation that my daughter my suffer and he told me if there were any further problems to call him directly.
Here is a copy of the email my husband sent my daughter's teacher and the schedule times for their classes:http://imgur.com/a/2lvTl
Unfortunately, that link is no longer live, but one can assume it was filled with parental rage.
So, I'll just take a nap and wait to hear from the school before I go to work tonight.
Update 3: I forgot to post this but when I stopped by my husband's work, his co-worker had a child that was in my daughter's class last year and had the same teacher. The same teacher wouldn't let him go the bathroom either and he did crap his pants.
The rightly concerned parent had one final update to share.
Update 4: Ok, just got off the phone with the school principal. He stated that they could not just let children come and go and do whatever they want to because it's a safety issue. Then he stated that he spoke with the teacher that said that she did tell my daughter that she couldn't go to the bathroom but that if she would have known that it was a female issue, she would have definitely have let her go. I asked why she needed to be told that it was a feminine issue in the first place and there had to be a better way than telling the teacher this info in front of the other students. He said that she could write a note to the teacher and tell her and so she wouldn't have to actually say it out loud. I told him that we have had problems with this same teacher all year (she's an advanced teacher and my daughter wants to leave the class but we've told her that she needs to stick it out) and this was the final straw. He said that they called my daughter into the office with him, the AP, and the teacher in question and told her that she would always be allowed to go the bathroom for a feminine issue. He asked if he wanted to the teacher to call me, especially after the email my husband sent, I told him no but said that my husband is usually very level headed and he was very upset because this is his baby. He apologized again. And, I made sure there would be no retaliation again my daughter...but we'll see what her take is on this whole thing when she gets home from school today!
Oh, so all this could've been solved if a 12-year-old girl basically announced to everyone that she had her period? The principal's explanation makes one wonder if this dude has ever had any experience with a middle school child. And obviously, as this is Reddit, you're only getting one side of the story. But from this side, it seems pretty obvious there's a big problem.
There's no word on whether the school's bathroom policy has been addressed and radically changed. Everyone probably hopes that's the case because otherwise there is no logic in the world.