Last week, two Vancouver, Wash. third graders said they wet their pants after their teacher would not let them use the bathroom. The students, both girls, said the reason for the denial was that they hadn’t accumulated enough pretend classroom money to pay for privilege.
The unidentified teacher will not be punished in any way as a result of one investigation of the incidents, a teachers union representative told The Columbian.
A separate investigation of the same incident based on livid mother Jasmine Al-Ayadhi’s complaint remains pending.
The alleged incidents occurred May 15 at Mill Plain Elementary School.
The pretend money is designed to teach students about the value of money. Students earn the fictional funds by doing their homework, for example, or by being nice to others. They can spend it to buy pizza or pointless crap like a squirt gun. Students say they must also use the fake cash to pay for bathroom breaks.
The unidentified teacher exacts a seemingly high imaginary price for toilet time: $50.
“When it comes to a bathroom issue, when a child has to pay money to use the bathroom, that’s wrong,” Al-Ayadhi told ABC affiliate KATU last week. “It’s inhumane.” (RELATED: Third Graders Charged Fake Money To Use Bathroom; Two Empty-Pocketed Kids Wet Their Pants)
Al-Ayadhi’s daughter, Reem, was one of the students who had an in-class accident. She was down to her final $50 on Thursday. She wanted to buy some popcorn. She also needed to pee. Unwisely, she chose to try to hold it in, which didn’t work.
“They gave her an option of black spandex pants that were size 7, or boy’s blue shorts. My daughter is a size 10,” Al-Ayadhi told The Columbian. “She was being teased. The boys were making fun of her because of the shorts.”
A statement by Evergreen Public Schools said that all students including students who don’t have enough fake money are allowed to use the bathroom in cases of emergency.
The statement did not indicate why these two students, both girls, nevertheless felt unable to go.
Local teachers union president Gloria M. Smith also defended the teacher, asserting that no child was ever denied the opportunity to use the bathroom and that the teacher never faced any disciplinary action — despite not appearing in class one day recently.
The exonerating investigative report proclaimed that the teacher had instituted the bathroom policy involving fake money in part to deal with a high number of class interruptions for bathroom breaks. The teacher said she – or he – believed that introducing some other bathroom pass system would just be too confusing for the third-grade students.
Meanwhile, Al-Ayadhi has said her daughter will not return to Mill Plain Elementary. Instead, the mad mom indicated plans to homeschool her daughter.
“How can you return a child to a school where she’s being humiliated and degraded?” she asked a reporter from The Columbian.