Schoolchildren in Washington state have said their third-grade teacher forced them to pay to use the bathroom, which caused at least two children to wet their pants.
The unidentified teacher at Mill Plain Elementary School in Vancouver allowed children to earn Monopoly play money through good behavior and performance, reported WRIC-TV.
The students could spend that play money on toys, treats, or restroom breaks.
Two parents complained last week that their children wet themselves because they spent their play money on treats and couldn’t “afford” to use the restroom.
“My daughter finally told me, ‘We have to pay to use the bathroom,’” said parent Merchon Ortega. “Nobody should have to pay to use the bathroom.”
Jasmine Alayadhi said her daughter spent her money on popcorn so she wouldn’t feel left out while her friends ate snacks.
“So she tried to hold it,” Alayadh said. “She said it hurt so bad, the pain was so bad, she goes, ‘I just had to let it go.’”
Officials with the Evergreen School District are investigating their claims, but they said teachers are given some discretion in overseeing their students.
“It’s all part of how they manage the classroom, and so that was the process that was decided upon,” said district spokeswoman Gail Spolar.
Students have designated bathroom breaks during the day, but teachers are permitted to monitor their bathroom use during class time.
School officials said students should not be denied restroom access.
An Oregon elementary school canceled a similar policy for its students in January after parents complained, although teachers at Cascades Elementary School in Lebanon are still permitted to withhold recess time from students who use the restroom outside scheduled breaks.
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