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Wednesday 21 November 2018

'I told my son to urinate in the chair and they'll let him go next time' - mum blasts school's 'no toilet break' rules

Mum blasts school's 'no toilet break' rules as 'ridiculous'

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A mum has branded the rules in her son's secondary school as "ridiculous".

The mother, who spoke on national radio as 'Joanne', said students are not allowed to drink water or take a bathroom break during class.

Speaking to RTE Radio One's Liveline, Joanne claimed the teacher told her son "to put the bottle away".

"He basically tried to explain that he was sick and she said put the bottle away," Joanne said.

"The rules I am objecting to are those that don't allow you to take a drink during the class and that you need a note to use the bathroom during class.

"These are just ridiculous."

Joanne, whose son studies in sixth year at the mixed school, said she visited the school to question the rules and they said her son "should be able to control his bladder and bowel, he shouldn't have to go during class."

"If they tried to go to the toilet between classes, they're late for the next class and they're still in trouble," she continued.

"They said they should be able to wait until lunchtime to go to the toilet.

"I told my son to urinate in the chair and they'll let you go the next time."

Joanne said other school rules include not being allowed to wear their official school jacket during class and to wear full black leather shoes during school hours, and not trainers.

"He got suspended because he left the classroom," Joanne said of her son.

"He kept asking could he go to the toilet, the teacher eventually said he was being disruptive and cheeky and put him out, and he got suspended for two days.

"I went down to the school and got the explanation that the students should be able to control themselves and there was no need for toilet breaks.

"I was told the students arrange to meet each other in the bathrooms and they both look to get out of class and then go to mess in the bathrooms.

"I asked was my son known to do this, they said 'no'.

"I asked was he known to regularly ask to go to the toilet and they said 'no'."

Joanne said the incident occurred during a double class.

She continued; "Teachers walk into the classrooms with cups of tea and coffee, they should lead by example. If students can't do it, why should teachers be able to?

"Some teachers enforce the rules, others don't. It's not a school policy. It's a rule they make up as they go along.

"I went down to the school and had a three minute conversation with the teacher, then yesterday I got a call to say in future I need to make an appointment.

"They said they can't have a parent wandering around the school due to health and safety rules and garda vetting in schools.

"I've rang them back and said I want that in writing."

A former primary school teacher also rang the Liveline programme.

She said she had taught for 35 years and never stopped a child taking a bathroom break.

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