A therapist from an agency that serves kids in the dependency system asked, at a clinical meeting, if I thought an 11-year-old boy’s frantic figuring on how not to receive a detention was something she should address.
The boy, who had been removed from his mother for physical and mental abuse, asked permission from his teacher to use the restroom, but was denied. He used the restroom between classes, was late for his next class and received a detention for tardiness!
Two former educators in the meeting reported that this is a long-standing practice. Evidently, going to the toilet is a matter of public safety. Another clinician obtained a note from her doctor to ensure that her son could use the toilet while in school. I hope that someone who understands the impact that this draconian practice will have on kids — stress, health and the distraction from learning —will intervene so that kids can use the restroom!
Teresa Descilo, executive director, The Trauma Resolution Center, Miami