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No punishment for teacher who made kids ‘pay’ to potty

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VANCOUVER- A third grade teacher at a Washington elementary school will not be facing any disciplinary actions after a student wet her pants as a result of a “pay to potty” program in the classroom. One student told reporters that two of her teachers require children to use fake reward money in order to use the bathroom during class.  Students can also use the money to get special treats like toys or candy. Two mothers filed complaints with the school district after their daughters wet their pants in the classroom when they didn’t have enough money to go to the bathroom.

“I’m so angry!” One mother told KATU, “When a child has to pay money to use the bathroom…It’s inhumane. That’s a health issue.”

The Columbian reports, “The investigative report, released by the district Thursday afternoon, stated that the classroom policy for additional bathroom breaks came in response to numerous class interruptions, with students leaving to use the restroom. The decision to use classroom dollars was based on the class system already in place. The teacher did not want to introduce a new bathroom pass system that would require students to navigate two systems.” The teachers union defended that decision.

A district spokeswoman said the Monopoly money is a form of bathroom pass and, “Elementary school children may have accidents … That’s why we have an entire clothes closet.” according to KATU.

Read more: KATU


  • Kerri

    What is wrong with schools…if this happened to my child I would be outraged too…Tell your kids to go even if they don't have the money!!!! If they have to go this bad, I'd rather see them fighting a discipline action for disrupting a class than the humiliation they will face thanks to teachers!!! What happened to all the good teachers??? I'm guessing REAL teachers are a thing of the past….so sad!!!

  • petite

    As a mother I think it is inhumane to make a child pay to use the bathroom when you have to go you have to go what about when you have the runs are they not gonna let the child go then cause they can't afford to pay some children take medicine and need to drink a ton of water and we all know some medicine can cause the runs and stomach upsetbwhat next are they going to deny them the water too I feel if it was my children and this happened to them and they got a uti I would make the teacher assume the responsibility and fork the Dr bill never should any child be unable to use the bathroom or with hold the urge or have to wet their pants if the teacher see that all the children are having to go why don't they stop class and take all the students to the bathroom what a bunch of nonsense

  • kayla

    THIS IS absolute bull crap! I am a cna. If a patient asked to use the bathroom I’d loose my job if I said u gotta pay me first. OMG I’d be on a rampage. These teachers ought to be ashamed of themselves. I hope they read this and realize how disgusted we r. To all current and future teachers who were planning on something like this: if my kid is forced to pee their pants even once, it will be the end of your career.

    • Tom

      WRONG. They do pay you. In the form of asinine outrageous hospital/nursing home bills. You are not trying to control a bathroom situation that is being abused by the majority. You have a responsibility to help your patients with everything they need. Your patients do not have downtime from being bed-ridden and sick. These children do have downtime at lunch and break times that they need to use wisely. You getting bent out of shape just perpetuates an entitled youth that can get away with anything. As far as the "teachers reading this and realizing how disgusted we r"…. you do realize this happened in Vancouver right? This is a re-post of a story broadcast by KIRO 7 in Seattle. The chances that your opinions will carry that far are very nil.

  • Tom

    You type of MOMS are the reason why the world is the way it is today. Where kids CAN'T learn a lesson when it is being taught properly. The kids at all school grades (K-12) have plenty of times to go to the bathroom in between classes, snack breaks, lunch time, recess, etc. The systems was meant to teach kids to USE those times wisely and MANAGE their time and responsibility (of which kids have none these days). Do parents get "outraged" at the sleep fairy because your child wet the bed. NO!!! YOU TELL THEM THEY NEED TO GO BEFORE BED! Same thing with class.

  • Tom

    They have plenty of breaks and the child made a bad decision because she wanted popcorn instead. Sounds like a future "I need to get my hair and nails done before I pay my bills" child in the making!!


    "Here is the daily schedule for the third graders….

    9:05-9:15 Students enter the class (AM teacher)
    11:20 Students transition to specialist
    11:50 Recess
    12:10 Lunch
    12:30 Class time (transition to PM teacher)
    2:05 Recess
    2:35 Class time
    3:35 Dismissal

    In Lilliana's case, she had the $50 of fake money on Thursday but didn't want to use it to pay for the bathroom. In Reem's case, she told KATU she was down to her last $50. She also had to go to the bathroom. She wanted to buy popcorn, like her friends were doing but was told she wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom because she didn't want to pay. "

  • Dustin

    May have an accident is one thing if they didn’t make it on time, may have an accident bc they are not allowed to use the potty bc they do not have enough “money” is another thing. Kids see keeping money to save for the toy or candy, if it was my son (8 yr old) he’d save his to buy a toy & hesitate on going to the potty. My son already had an accident bc he tried to hold his bladder until bathroom break, not sure who’s fault that was. I already had to call & report a gym teacher, yes a gym teacher who has lil kids of his own, for grabbing a hold of my son & yelling at him in front of the class bc he walked in front of him instead of behind him. The school systems are starting to get more like our government, try to over rule everyone, including kids who have accidents and can’t defend themselves when put on the spot bc they can’t react fast enough. My wife and I are considering home schooling next year. Dallastown School District in Pa

  • Tom

    They have plenty of breaks and the child made a bad decision because she wanted popcorn instead. Sounds like a future "I need to get my hair and nails done before I pay my bills" child in the making!!

  • Jolene

    Tom, these are young children not teenagers getting ready for the real world. You give certain choices to children and more than likely they will pick the fun (popcorn in this case) everytime no matter how they were raised. As they get older they start to learn the difference in good and bad choices like paying a bill or getting their hair and nails done. At this age they should not have to hold their bladder until a break. It is not healthy for them as their bladders are far to small and may cause health issues. Do you have to pay to utilize the bathroom at your job if you have to go at work and it is not on a break? My guess would be no so why ask an 8 year old to do so? It really does not teach them anything at this age. Maybe later in life but not at this age. I am not against teaching moments for kids but this definitly is not a way to do it with an 8 year old 3rd grade student.

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