This parent is upset that her child isn’t allowed to leave the classroom whenever she wants by using the claim of needing to use the bathroom. Students do this all the time. There are kids who will need to use the bathroom constantly, then will leave the classroom and wander the halls for half an hour or more. Many teachers, myself included, developed policies that were intended to keep kids in the classroom. If you don’t do so, you will find that the kids take full advantage of that, and of you.

There are some things that you hear when you are a teacher that are heard so often, they become cliché.

  • The teacher is only giving me that grade because they don’t like me
  • The teacher must have lost my homework, because I turned it in
  • I wasn’t cheating, I was using my resources
  • I need this phone to text my mom
  • I wasn’t using this phone to cheat on the test, I was texting my mom. She needs to hear from me every hour, to make sure I’m safe.
  • My kid wasn’t cheating on the test, he was texting me, you can’t tell my kid that he can’t text his mother whenever he wants to.
  • I need to go to the bathroom (before being gone for half an hour)
  • My kid should be allowed to do whatever they want.

You get the point. Kids will do anything and everything to get out of school, to get things that they shouldn’t have, etc. If you are a parent, you know how manipulative children can be. It’s a parent’s job to guide and teach their children the right way, to show them the path to becoming functional, responsible adults. Sadly, many parents fail in this duty and instead strive to be the child’s ally and friend, rather than their parent. I saw this time after time during my seven years as a teacher. It’s so tedious that it was one of the main reasons why I am no longer teaching. .

This bathroom thing is no exception to that. Let that child get hurt, and the first thing those very same parents want to know is why was their child not being supervised. It’s tiresome, and looking at this teacher’s policy in the article, it seems reasonable.

Mrs. Garrett has allegedly implemented a classroom “reward system” that allows students to earn “Garrett dollars,” which they can cash in to borrow supplies or use the bathroom, among other things. How do you earn dollars? Students can donate supplies, do extra work in the classroom, be good citizens in the classroom, etc. They can then use those dollars to buy things like a pencil or paper (which was donated by another student), bathroom trips, and other things.

It’s a great idea. It teaches the kids that work carries reward, it teaches them fairness, and helps impart a work ethic.

Instead, this parent wants to teach her child the lesson that whining and complaining is far more effective a tool to get what you want.

Sadly, that is the lesson that is learned far too often. Too many parents claim that their kid is different, their kid “would never do that,” which ties the hands of the teachers who actually DO want to do their jobs. That’s how we wind up with schools that can’t control kids, and the school becomes a discipline free for all, like this Minnesota school where parents are complaining that the violence is out of control.

Categories: Failure of Education


Joe Blow · March 15, 2023 at 8:53 am

Been going on for 30+ years… my wifes family, its funny, she was an ooops!, but raised like a proper person by her father. ALL of her step siblings, same mom, diff dad, have this ‘defect’.
I have heard from this womans mouth firsthand the clichés you speak of: the teacher has it in for her, the cops are after him b/c they think he is selling pot (he was)….
Personal responsibility, on the part of the parent, is where this fails. The failing parent merely teaches their bad skills to their child. Whole generations do not think anything is ever their fault. Thus the world we are living in.

exile1981 · March 15, 2023 at 4:14 pm

I had a teacher tell me that she was failing my daughter because she was told our family is conservative. Principal and school board refused to do anything, even all i wanted was the principal to review the assignments. School uses an online site, screen shots showed daughter above 80%; then teacher revisitted every assignment and mark suddenly showed as 49%.

Aesop · March 15, 2023 at 5:46 pm

1) Five minutes for a potty break is long enough. Anything more than that is class cutting, and results in a detention. Same day.

2) No potty breaks before the test/quiz is over and you’ve turned yours in, or you fail the test/quiz. Five minute rule still applies.

3) Any kid that can’t pee before and after class 99% of the time has a medical problem, and better come back with a doctor’s note after the third incident specifying the medical diagnosis and prescription/solution. Anything specifying “frequent bathroom breaks” is thrown out on the spot.

4) Cheating is a class fail. Cheating twice is a K-12 grade fail, and repeat of entire year.

You make your choices, and you deal with the consequences of those choices.

Non-negotiable rules.
Violations: One letter grade drop per additional occurrence. Fs require repeat of the class, for a maximum C.
Ideally, in summer/out of session school.

Complaining parents after a letter grade drop result in an automatic F.
Publish all this on Day One, inform the parents, and require their signature of the notification.

School can’t hang with that? Walk.
Unless they’re issuing batons and guns to teachers for use in class, along with a whip and a chair.

Failure to abide by and enforce sensible rules is why most inner city public schools in larger districts are pre-prison training, and about as worthwhile. And the slop-over on that has made it all the way to the university, to date. No sympathy. They get what they tolerate and reward. And the administration, being barely a step above the current inmates, generally has too much sympathy for their fellow miscreants, and not enough regard for the kids trying to learn. As too many teachers and former teachers have seen.

The (literal) problem children should be screened for any legitimate issues, and placed appropriately.
The ones who are just assholes-in-training should be tossed into general population same-sex boarding schools, for a last chance at getting an education, supervised by actual juvenile detention prison guards. A successful year gets them mainstreamed back into the regular pipeline. Failing out of that? Turn ’em loose, after fingerprinting and DNA swabbing, noted as “unable to be educated” and let life deal with them. 99% of them will enter the justice system soon anyways, if they haven’t already. Might as well make it easy on the detectives.

Next question. 😉

Alles Klaar · March 15, 2023 at 8:10 pm

Bathroom breaks are a construct of the white male patriarchy.
Everyone will be fitted with colostomy bags and catheters in the spirit of egalitarian equity.

SweetWife · March 15, 2023 at 8:26 pm

Absolutely not ok to make a child use earned rewards for bathroom “privileges”. Unless, of course, the kid does act inappropriately…it’s wrong to punish all the kids bc a few abuse open access to the restroom. One teacher literally made my child an anxious wreck by limiting bathroom access. Among other issues, that teacher should have been put out to pasture.

Brutus · March 15, 2023 at 11:56 pm

Student who want out of class that bad don’t belong there. Most of the problems from bad students result from compulsory attendance.

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