Two 9-year-old students in Vancouver, Washington were deeply embarrassed last week after a classroom policy led to them urinating on themselves.
The policy, implemented by a third-grade teacher at Mill Plain Elementary, forces children to pay $50 in Monopoly money in order to use the restroom. Children receive the fake cash for good behavior and can also choose to buy pizza, popcorn and toys.
Jasmine Al-Ayadhi, whose daughter Reem wet herself, says she supports children learning the value of money but argues that the bathroom policy goes too far.
“When it comes to a bathroom issue, when a child has to pay money to use the bathroom, that’s wrong,” Al-Ayadhi told KATU News. “It’s inhumane. That’s a health issue.”
Al-Ayadhi says Reem, who was down to her last $50, desperately wanted to buy popcorn with her friends and attempted to wait until after class to use the bathroom.
“OK, if you want to use the bathroom it’s going to cost you $50, but then you don’t have money to buy popcorn,” Al-Ayadhi said. “What do you think a child’s going to do?”
Reem, who had no choice but to now change into boys’ basketball shorts provided by the school, says she was then picked on by fellow students.
“It didn’t feel so well because I had to wear boy pants and I did get teased,” Reem said.
Despite being told that she would be contacted by the school’s principal on Friday, Al-Ayadhi says she only heard from the school after a second child came forward Monday.
Merchon Ortega, whose daughter Lilliana wet herself that same day, was visibly upset with the policy as well.
“What kind of kid is going to spend money to go to the bathroom? No child should have to pay to use the restroom, Ortega said. “Are you kidding me? That’s absolutely insane.”
Ortega, who had to change into a used pair of clothes also, says she felt humiliated as well.
“It makes me feel kind of horrible in somebody else’s pants and undies,” Lilliana said.
The teacher-in-question was not seen at the school Monday, reportedly on leave while an investigation is underway.
This is a school,” Al-Ayadhi said. “This isn’t a jail. This isn’t a prison. We send our kids to school to learn and to get a good education.”