Third Grader Pees Pants to Get Popcorn

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She: We pee our pants. He: Yeah, but we're babies.
She: We pee our pants.
He: Yeah, but we’re babies.

A third-grade girl picked eating popcorn over going to the restroom.

Now the mom is going public to the press because her precious kid peed herself. Preposterous parenting!

The mother of the girl attending Mill Plain Elementary school in Vancouver, WA claims that her daughter was humiliated by the incident in which her daughter chose to use her bathroom pass (in the form of $50 in Monopoly money) to “buy” popcorn instead. Her friends were getting popcorn, and she wanted a snack more than to answer nature’s call in the restroom. The girl then peed her pants.

What does the mom do? Makes a big stink, pun intended, by complaining to authorities and the press. The press! She withheld her daughter’s name, however, to keep from further humiliating the child. Let’s see, the mom granted an interview to the press giving all other details about how her girl had suffered from the natural disaster, and how the teacher was to blame.

The mother demanded that the teacher be disciplined and the terms of the controversial “pay to potty” policy be changed.

The story prompted the Evergreen Public Schools to investigate.

Here’s what reported:

“We’re never going to prevent a child who is in an emergency situation from going to the bathroom,” a spokesperson for the school district (Spolar) said. “We don’t want the children to have accidents. We don’t want the children to have health and safety issues and so that’s part of that investigation is how the procedure is being done.”

Spolar said “pay to potty” is not a district-wide policy but rather a decision left up to the teachers to track when kids leave the classroom – including bathroom breaks – and calls that a balancing act. She said some teachers use passes or a sign-out sheet. In this case, she said the students earn their own money and “that’s how they check out for the restroom.”

The little girl “was down her last $50” and wanted to trade it for popcorn. As a result, her request to go to the bathroom was denied. All of the children have several opportunities to use the facilities throughout the day without “paying”: before class, at recess, lunch and afternoon recess. A nine-year-old, having attended school for 3 – 4 years already, ought to have the routine down.

The mother’s actions prompted these remarks:

“A great lesson and it’s to bad that parents don’t hold their children accountable at home. Teaching children that Potty is a necessity, and that Pizza is a luxury. Teaching children to prioritize their needs and their wants, and then teaching them the difference.”

“So if the Mom is so upset about her daughter being humiliated then why did she contact the news about this story? Just because the child’s name isn’t mentioned in the story doesn’t mean everyone at school or in their community doesn’t know who it is. If mom is willing to talk to news, she is willing to talk to everyone and the word gets around.

Is this really a controversial policy? The school district returned the teacher to the classroom without discipline, after concluding their investigation. I think they did the right thing.

Do you think that 9-year-olds are capable of choosing needs over wants? Should the mother have backed the teacher? What role do parents have in teaching this lesson?

THB by T.M. Burroughs

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