An elementary school teacher in Vancouver, Wash., is in hot water after parents learned she was “selling” visits to the potty to her eight-year-old charges. ABC affiliate WRIC reports that the teacher at Mill Plain Elementary School had developed an unusual system of rewards for good behavior that involved handing out play money to students. The cash could be spent on toys or treats — or a visit to the restroom.
The curious arrangement came to light last week when two parents complained that their children wet themselves at school because they couldn’t “afford” to go to the bathroom. Officials in the Evergreen School District are investigating the claim.
Merchon Ortega, one of the parents, is quoted as saying:
My daughter finally told me, ‘We have to pay to use the bathroom.’ Nobody should have to pay to use the bathroom.
According to CNN affiliate KOIN in Portland, Ortega’s daughter spent her money on a treat instead of a trip to the lavatory, causing her accident.
Jasmine Alayadhi’s daughter also came home with wet pants. Said the mom:
[My daughter said,] ‘I didn’t want to be left out. I wanted to have popcorn with my friends.’ And so she tried to hold it. She said it hurt so bad, the pain was so bad, she goes, ‘I just had to let it go.’”
When asked about the policy, a spokeswoman for the district, Gail Spolar, answered, “It’s all part of how they manage the classroom and so that was the process that was decided upon.”
Spolar further explained that students have designated bathroom breaks during the day, during which they are supposed to transact their bodily business. However, district officials added that no student was ever denied use of the restroom when nature calls and said they are investigating the issue.
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