NYC Teacher Enacts ‘Hold It In’ Policy For Children Wanting To Use Bathrooms

Stephanie Warner Awards Prizes For Those With Infrequent Restroom Use

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn elementary school teacher has come up with a controversial idea to get her children to hold it in.

She’s trying to keep them at their desks and off the toilet, but some say it goes too far.

Denisse Corona is a fifth grader at P.S. 90 in Coney Island. She said her teacher, Stephanie Warner, decided to hand out prizes to students who didn’t use their bathroom passes.

“They’re just little tiny toys, like erasers, pencils, rulers,” Denisse said.

The little girl said she and her classmates would get three passes at the beginning of the week to use the bathroom. Her teacher then laid out rules on a sign at the front of the classroom. If they still had passes at the end of the week, the students were rewarded.

“Lots of kids are holding because they want to get a prize,” Denisse said.

But holding it can lead to medical problems, according to one parent, who has an autistic son in the class.

“It’s not fair to the children. Mine has a bladder problem so three times a week is not cutting it,” Sandra Leon said.

The idea for the plan was to get students to voluntarily take fewer bathroom breaks.

“Because some kids just go for fun. They just want to skip class,” Denisse said.

Another teacher at the school said the plan stinks.

“They want to discourage the children from missing instruction for whatever reason, but if you have to go, you have to go. I have to go to the bathroom,” said Vicky Giasemis, who is also a union representative.

Giasemis also teaches fifth grade at P.S. 90. She said last year she had three students urinate on themselves.

And the Department of Education issued a statement late Wednesday saying: “There is no school policy. Apparently, one teacher took it upon herself to enact a limit. The principal says she has put a stop to this.”

One parent told CBS 2 the principal is doing the right thing by reversing the policy.

“Believe me, if you mistreat my child, you mistreat me. If my child came home and told me he had to go to the bathroom and he was not allowed, trust me, it wouldn’t go well,” Delores Vann said.

The Department of Education said individual teachers in classrooms decide who goes to the bathroom and when.

Do you agree with the teacher’s policy? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • Vicki Dissmore Daum

    My husband has type 2 diabetes that developed in early childhood; he was around 11 or 12 years old. He suffered greatly in school from thirst and having to go to the bathroom frequently. When he went to his family doctor and told him he pee’d a lot, the doctor asked him if he drank a lot, which he said that he did. The doctor answered “drink a lot, pee a lot”. That was the way it was 60 years ago in Milwaukee. Sometimes the teachers forbid him to go to the toilet and he just had to leave class. Then he was sent to the office and punished for going AWOL! It wasn’t until years later that his condition was discovered. Still, the mediccal care wasn’t very good and he suffered for years more until we moved to France where the doctors stabilized his condition and he now lives a normal life with very few meds and for the first time he does not suffer the constant thirst lives a very normal life.
    so Don’t make judgments about children unless you know all the facts. Everybody is different and what I say is: for those who stand up for the teacher over the students, “stop trying to make everyone conform to what “YOU” think is right!” You might be wrong!

  • Obamadinijad Hussein

    simple solution to this, pee right there in class, better yet, right on that teacher

  • Erik

    WOW CBS New York is hard up for stories this week. LOL………

    in other news…….Are line leaders causing our kids to be too competitive?

  • bob

    Learn to control the bladder and go between subjects NOT in the middle of instruction. That also works in the real job world of adults for meetings and such.

  • Quintin

    This policy does not seem to be that harsh. I’m sure if there are any pertinent medical issues then it will come out via parents once they receive a syllabus including such policy (that’s if the parent reads the communiction, it makes it home, or if there is one at all).

    Truthfully, the policy gives 4 opportunities to use the restroom (it includes lunch). Let’s be honest…every time a student request to use the restroom, is it to use the restroom, meet a friend, surreptitiously talk on the cell phone, or to just get out of class?

    Overall, I believe that this policy focuses on maintaining structure rather than being a tool for torture. According to the Center for Holistic Urology (2006), “normally, the average person urinates no more than seven times a day, and does not have to get up at night to use the bathroom” (Center for Holistic Urology – Conditions – Bladder – Interstitial Cystitis, para. 9). Therefore allowing 4 opportunities (totaling over 35mins.) should be enough time to use the restroom within a school day.


    Center for Holistic Urology – Conditions – Bladder – Interstitial Cystitis. (2006). The Center for Holistic Urology – Prostate , Kidney, Bladder , Prostate Cancer and Urinary Tract Information. Retrieved January 23, 2012, from

    • Obamadinijad Hussein

      hopefully someone will pee on you

      • Quintin

        Let’s be moral about the situation. Do you have anything meaningful to say?

        • Quintin

          On the other hand, I think three times a week is ridiculous. Three times a day would be more reasonable. My original post was in regards to three times per day.

  • Karrie

    It’s a fact that a child’s bladder isn’t fully formed until the age of 9ish. 5th grade is on the cusp. Also factored in should be the health of the child (as one parent said, her daughter gets UTI’s reguarlarly). A child shouldn’t get penalized or shunned or treated differently because they physically cannot conform to the teachers rules. This teacher needs a wake up call.

  • Vicki Dissmore Daum

    My husband has type 2 diabetes that developed in early childhood; he was around 11 or 12 years old. He suffered greatly in school from thirst and having to go to the bathroom frequently. When he went to his family doctor and told him he pee’d a lot, the doctor asked him if he drank a lot, which he said that he did. The doctor answered “drink a lot, pee a lot”. That was the way it was 60 years ago in Milwaukee. Sometimes the teachers forbid him to go to the toilet and he just had to leave class. Then he was sent to the office and punished for going AWOL! It wasn’t until years later that his condition was discovered. Still, the mediccal care wasn’t very good and he suffered for years more until we moved to France where the doctors stabilized his condition and he now lives a normal life with very few meds and for the first time he does not suffer the constant thirst lives a very normal life.

    so Don’t make judgments about children unless you know all the facts. Everybody is different and what I say is: for those who stand up for the teacher over the students, “stop trying to make everyone conform to what “YOU” think is right!” You might be wrong!

  • Lisa

    Absolutely not! My daughter has an overactive bladder and gets monthly UTI’s. This does not sit well with me.

  • Ruby

    Ridiculous. It’s unhealthy to hold it in, it opens the child up to embarrassment of having an accident and unless it is a Board of Ed policy, the teacher has no business making up rules anyway.

    Furthermore, why are the kids trying to escape her class that often? Could it be that she’s MEAN?

  • J Atkings

    Enticing children by using toys into conduct that is UNHEALTHY is WRONG. After years of thinking I had to HOLD it all the time, for more important reasons, I ended up with many bladder problems as a young adult. This behavior is NOT good for children to learn. PERIOD. YES they need boundaries…but teaching a child that having to go to the bathroom is disrespectful is vulgar to say the least.

    If the majority of children in a teacher’s class are having difficulty wanting to stay in class, maybe the problem isn’t the students. Yes set boundaries, but don’t put the health and well being of children you are paid to teach proper personal hygiene at risk.

  • Andrew

    The teacher’s policy is very reasonable. Some of you whiny parents are pathetic! You are the reason your children learn less, disrespect teachers, and will go through life demanding or expecting special treatment. For the adults who are still complaining about their own bathroom experiences in school, get a life! If your child TRULY has a medical problem, then get a note from a doctor and pass it on to the teacher, and I’m sure your son or daughter could go whenever. Some of you parents need to understand why there are rules and policies in classrooms. Without rules you can not teach; classroom management is key in effective classrooms. Quite a few students abuse the restroom break, and use it for texting, meeting up with friends, beautification, basically an excuse to mess around, not to actually use the restroom. Those students who don’t abuse it, are fine with the policy, and if they had an emergency, the teacher would allow them to go.

  • Elizabeth

    Let me go out on a limb and say I think this is a fine policy. Kids have arrival time, recess, and lunchtime during which they can use the restrooms. They also get 3 passes to use when they choose, IF they choose. These are not 5 year olds; they are 10+. If there are health concerns, obviously, accommodations can be made. I volunteer in grade 7 math classes where the kids get ONE pass a week – no one has urinated on him/herself in the FIVE YEARS I have been there. Yes, the teacher has made exceptions to the rule as needed. Teachers are human beings with brains. The manipulators who want to waste their days in the halls, bathroom, etc. are quickly found out. The kids with health issues are usually quickly identified by parents or by the kids themselves. The VAST middle can work with the policy just fine. Relax.

  • Lisa

    If my son or daughter had to go to the bathroom and was told no, I’d be really mad too, though. What kind of parent wouldn’t be mad? You trust people to take care of your children and they don’t take care of their basic needs? That’s upsetting to me. Encouraging a child to hold it? That’s unhealthy, unsafe and unnecessary. That mother doesn’t sound like a “you owe me” or “I’m right, you’re wrong” person. She sounds like a mother who wants her child taken care of when he’s not with her.

    • anthrogirl

      I agree. Parents who feel a real bond with their kids would have a hard time with this. One of my teachers recently told me that she treats all her students the same. She doesn’t take into considerations outside influences like family life or disabilities. She expects all her kids to follow the rules. I was stunned and then I told her she was wrong. If a kid has a sensitive bladder, do we hold him to the bathroom schedule? If a kid needs meds every four hours, do we deny him access to the nurse? If a kid’s parents are in the middle of a nasty divorce, do we reprimand her when we see her staring off into space with tears in her eyes. If a kid is totally scared of heights, do we fail him for not climbing the ropes in gym? What if a teacher needed to use the bathroom off schedule; do we deny her. What if she’s pregnant and has to go every hour or so? I remember numerous times walking down the hallways and being called into the classrooms of pregnant teachers needing an emergency bathroom breaks. Let’s lighten up here. This is only an issue for teachers without effective classroom management skills.

  • Oh no not again

    What has happened to society. When I was in school you did not leave class for anything except emergencies. Bathroom breaks happened during the 5 minute class change. this prepared me for later in life when I would not be able to leave an assembly line or a meeting to use the bathroom. Kids need rules and boundaries. I applaude a teacher for trying.

  • Angela Snapp

    I had a teacher refuse to let me go to the bathroom once. I got up and went anyway. If you gotta go, you gotta go!

  • lophius

    Hmm… a lot of folks making comments who have never spent a minute working in a classroom. Instead of ranting about the symptom (her actions), why not examine and address the possible causes (pressure to increase learning time, lack of support staff, etc.)

    I work in an urban middle school that has an escort policy, which means students can’t walk around the school by themselves. This “safety” rule is not my decision, and I have no authority to go against this. I have classes with 24+ students in them and no other adult. And, my district is telling me that “time on learning” is a priority, and it is how I am evaluated.

    Now, imagine having a hands-on science lesson juggling an array of learning stations and materials. During any given teaching period, I may be asked by up to a half-dozen kids to go to the BR. In that moment, I have to make a quick judgment call. Is this a legit BR need or simply an attempt to get out of class? Does this student have a medical issue? How often have they asked in the past? All this time, I am simultaneously monitoring my learning groups and scanning for any safety issues (use of chemicals and equipment). And, even if I decide to send the student, I know it could take a while for an escort to show up to my room due to budget cuts and the loss of support staff in our school.

    So, yes, I can understand why this teacher may have felt the need to manage the situation and help the kids develop self-control. Did she choose the best tactic? Maybe, maybe not. But, let’s not crucify her for being a heartless sadist, especially if you have NO IDEA what it is like to be in her shoes…

  • coriolana

    She has no business being in charge of children with that kind of draconian attitude. Every doctor agrees that it is never good for humans beings of any age to hold urine. Even worse for children. This woman should be arrested for child endangerment. And kicked out of teaching immediately!

  • Patrick Klocek

    Absurd! I did the same thing in one of my classes. I gave each student several coupons that could be used for toilet breaks The could turn in un-used coupons for points toward their grades or they could trade them or give them to friends as currency. THEIR CHOICE. Nobody complained. The students liked the fact that they had some freedom. A lot of students were used up their coupons quickly because they just liked taking little trips. School is boring …

  • laura

    as a teacher, i see kids who want to ‘go to the bathroom’ all the time for fun or just because their friends do. what i have noted through my career is that the first kid who asks really has to go, but those who follow don’t, they just want to try to be with their friends and have a little break. i agree with the teacher’s thinking in that there is a specified time each day during breaks to go to the bathroom and students should go during that time. and i highly doubt that she is denying bathroom privileges to those who ask if they need to go during other times. people shouldn’t over-react to this.

    • coriolana

      She admitted to having 3 ‘accidents’ in class! That’s ridiculous and draconian, especially if it is in 5th grade! NO ONE is overreacting.

  • Craig Driver

    Passes to go to the restroom? What a bunch of crap!!!

  • HowDoIReachTheseKids

    I teach at an urban school in Watts…I don’t let anyone go to the bathroom. That’s the “rule”. But I can tell when a student is honest…there’s many signs that they actually have to go.
    Bathroom passes were a doomed system for me, so I deal with it case by case. But they know that I do not let them out easily….so I’ve had max 2 people go in a 2 HOUR block.
    in my experience, the students choose not to go to the bathroom at appropriate times, i.e. lunchtime or passing between classes. sorry but that’s their fault. they can hold it. if not…they have to make up the instructional time they missed after school or during lunch.

    yay discipline!

    • coriolana


  • Patrick Benford


  • Dea

    I have been a teacher for 25 years, and I am appalled by this and some of the stories about other schools with teachers that get no breaks and certain periods to use the restroom. What is that about? I taught in the fourth largest distriict in the country for 19 of those years at 4 different elementary schools.Some of these schools mentioned here and their rules are just plain ridiculous.
    Yes, teachers needs rules and structure. However, I am not going to tell a child that they can’t use the restroom or that they can’t get a drink. I might ask them to wait a few minutes if I was in the middle of a lesson. However, my students knew at the beginning of the year that if they ever had a true emergency to just say emergency and go. I also allowed water bottles. We are told to keep our bodies hydrated yet so many want to limit how often they allow children get drinks. I never had children abuse the rules and go too often. Most of them didn’t want to miss what was happening in class. If I felt a child was going a lot…I inquired about their health. As a teacher, I couldn’t be expected to “hold it” all day. Why shoudl we expect that from our students?

    • Patrick Klocek

      The students were given four daily breaks at which time they could use the facilities. Nobody is being tortured. What this is really about is envy. Some students got little prizes for not taking trips and other didn’t get prizes because they took trips. The students who took trips made up excuse like “small bladder” and still wanted to claim their prizes. SORRY — NO CAN DO. Particularly at high school, the students use these “bathroom breaks” as an opportunity to socialise.

      • coriolana

        This is not about envy. It is about a so-called ‘teacher’ (I should like a good look at her creditials, to be honest) who has created a situation where children are physically hurting themselves in order to win her ‘little prizes’. When one of those children has a bladder infection from holding urine as an extra little ‘prize’ for learning to ‘hold it’, I hope the parent refer the law to the perpetrator and sue accordingly.

  • whatever!

    Shocking! I have an eight year old daugher that will absolutely get a UT infection if she holds it… in the grocerty store we have to stop everything and leave a full cart if need be to find a bathroom. It is what it is, as a teacher I would think that if you have an issue with a child taking advantage you would reach out the parent, right? Don’t punish other children that will miss out on a “prize” at the end of the week! Seriously!

  • aiquoy

    It’s the principal of punishing all to punish a few. We have some bad drivers, so is it alright to limit everyone’s driving times to prevent a few bad eggs from driving? This isn’t a problem that you can solve with a “Blanket Solution”, it’s a problem that needs to be addressed in a case by case basis. Those with special needs may be allowed. Those who abused should be closely watched. Ultimately, the problem isn’t the students, but the schools themselves. They teach mundane information in a dull way that doesn’t truly prepare you to be successful, who wouldn’t hate it? It’s designed for the opposite, actually. If everyone was educated, who would work at McDonalds, who would mop your floors? Whether unintentionally or not, the Public School systems ultimately keeps the lower class in their bracket. Consider it, really. They tell you to “get an education, get a good JOB”. In a business, the JOBS are the lower rungs of the ladder. When you follow their advice and get there you realize you’re totally unprepared, and nothing that they taught applies. They don’t teach you basic financial education or budgeting. They don’t tell you, ‘get an education, become a Manager, become a Business Executive, learn the Stock Market, hone your Artistic skillls”. These are the truly successful areas, but they deter you away from them. It is a flawed design, with many flawed teachers being blind to their contributions to the deterioration of the next generation.

    • Hardworker

      It is a parent’s job to prepare their child for life. If a child has no money management skills, then the parents failed to prepare them. Ultimately it is up to the student to take the things that they have been taught and apply them to their job. That is why there are internships during college. That is where you learn the customs of business, and how to succeed. We live in a society where hard work and paying dues is not valued. Those born in the last 25 years want to have everything handed to them with minimal effort.

      I worked very hard to be in the position I am in. I took it upon myself to learn my skills and craft so that I could advance. These rules that you detest help shape me into the person I am today. If you can’t follow the basic rules, who will trust you when it becomes important? It isn’t about punishment, it is about discipline.

  • Mom

    Different kids have different bladder capacities. I have four of them ranging in age from 8 to 16. My 8 year old daughter can hold it all day long, while my 10 year old son has a very small bladder and needs to go many times a day (not just at school – while at home, while on road trips, etc.). A 3 time a week rule would be just fine for my daughter, but it would cause significant stress for my son. How long has this teacher been teaching that she doesn’t realize different children have different needs?

    • Patrick Klocek

      The students have plenty of time to do their business. On average, students are only asked to “hold it” for no more than two hours. They are given chances to go roughly every two hours. If the mood didn’t strike him at 8:15, I am sure he will be fine waiting until 10:30. And you know, the teachers usually get less opportunities to go than the kids.

  • tt

    If your child has special considerations, then let the school know and I’m sure they would allow it. The teacher has 3 clear times for the bathroom, plus the student’s lunch break. This is 4 times they can use the bathroom, during a 7 hour school day. If your child has to go more often than this, I would suggest getting them tested for a medical condition. In addition, I’m certain that if the student told the teacher it was an emergency, they would be allowed to go. God forbid a teacher be allowed to make his or her own classrooms rules. I just don’t think what she asked was unreasonable. These are 5th grade students, not 5 year olds.

  • Donna G. Riley

    As a substitute teacher and a parent of two i completely agree with the teacher. I understand if a child really has to go but if they do not have a medical condition and ask multiple times within an hour then something is up. Most parents don’t see their kids at school or how they act in school and most go to the restroom to mess around to get out of class. I completely agree with the teacher!

    • Amber

      You are a glorified babysitter. Substitute teachers are not teachers. You don’t have the years of training, the degree, or the license.

      You are like a lunch room aid or a teacher’s assistant.

      Sort of like that Office Assistant for a Doctor who starting spouting off like she was a Doctor.

      • Donna G. Riley

        I am currently working on my MAT in teaching and have student hours logged. Does that count? Dont hate people for what they believe in.

        • amber

          I hate no one. Don’t project on me.

          We are talking about something that does cause lifetime illness. I will get as agitated about this as a please, especially when people feign expertise.

          Unlike all the people commenting in support of this teacher, I actually have experience with this, and as a result I will have to take meds every day for the rest of my life… all because teachers decided they could schedule body functions.

          Am I mad? Yes, you would be too if someone else’s ignorance caused you lifelong health issues.

          • Donna G. Riley

            I understand you completely. I think that people shouldn’t have to hold it to go to the restroom. i think that the students who leave to get out of class is the problem.

            • Donna G. Riley

              I would be mad to for what happen to you. Sorry if I offended you.

            • Amber

              Indeed, and instituting a rule that rewards those who can hold it in isn’t really fair to those who medically cannot… It also gives the impression that holding urine in is ideal, and it is not.

              The only fair and viable option I’ve seen on this thread is the idea of putting monitors at each bathroom to ensure no horseplay occurs, and children don’t crowd in the bathroom.

        • Patrick Klocek

          Don’t listen to “Amber” she clearly has issues. Depending on your State, of course, a substitute teacher has all the rights of a “regular” teacher and is not a glorified babysitter. Secondly, if any student has a legitimate medical issue — like IBS — that requires lots of toilet time then that student will have Individual Education Program of some sort noting the accommodations that need to be made for that one student. I don’t know what Amber’s problem is and why she is so filled with hate. I worked as a substitute teacher for many years and had my own classes as well. I actually like being a substitute more than being a regular class teacher … I get to go home earlier at night.

      • tt

        Don’t be a hater Amber. Most substitute teachers have a teaching license and just haven’t been able to find a position yet. This is far far from being a lunch room aide or teacher’s assistance. Your comment is insulting. I understand you’re upset, but it doesn’t give you the right to insult a profession you clearly know nothing about.

        • amber

          I said it before, I’m not a hater, I hate no one and no thing. Hate is a weakness, no one or thing has enough control over me to cause me to hate.

          Substitute Teaching is a job, a noble job perhaps, but all it requires is a certain amount of college credits… So while some Substitutes may be licensed teachers, not a one that I’ve known was… nor are any of my friends who are substitute teachers.

          My comment is not insulting, its the truth. Perhaps I was a little harsh in my delivery, but there is nothing in-factual about what I said.

          That website stipulates requirements of substitute teachers. Maybe you should think before you baselessly attack.

          • Donna Riley

            I am just pasted my praxis (teaching exam). I have a Bachelors of Science degree and currently working on my Masters. There are no art education jobs currently which is what I am doing. That’s why i am a sub. There are certain requirements to be a sub. Its 70 hours of college credits.I dont know many subs so i cant tell you if they are certified or not. The ones I do know do it for extra money or are in college working on their certification.

            • Amber

              I know what a Praxis is, and congrats.

              If you check the link I provided, each state has different requirements, some only require high school education.

              You may be a qualified teacher working as a sub for the time being, but I have never known a Sub who was actually a certified teacher. I was a total sycophant, and I knew all our subs well… they were all either college students, or elderly people.

              And now back to my original point, a Substitute Teacher is not a Certified Teacher, sometimes they are, but its not that common, and being that most substitute teachers are not actual teachers, someone who states they are a substitute teacher, really doesn’t have the expertise of an actual teacher.

              Even so, teachers aren’t geniuses, they are just people doing their jobs.

              On a side note, why haven’t you looked into teaching at a college? Better pay, more respect, and Art Appreciation is a pretty common college course, as opposed to Public Schools, as they are constantly cutting music and art.

              I am just pasted my praxis (teaching exam). I have a Bachelors of Science degree and currently working on my Masters. There are no art education jobs currently which is what I am doing. That’s why i am a sub. There are certain requirements to be a sub. Its 70 hours of college credits.I dont know many subs so i cant tell you if they are certified or not. The ones I do know do it for extra money or are in college working on their certification.

              • Donna Riley

                I havent had enough masters courses yet to be able to teach college. For Ky you have to have 18 hrs. :(

  • Good For The Teacher

    If you are parent you know that kids will 1) use the bathroom as an excuse to get out of class like the teacher said. 2) be perfectly capable of “holding it” if they are in the middle of something they like to do and 3) complain when given a chance.
    The teacher did not say they could not go, they have three passes and they rewarded even if they only had one pass left. Also, they get lunch breaks and recess time so they can go then.
    Unless they are allowed drink in class with three breaks per weeks there should be no issues or concens about health.
    I am a mother of two one of them happens to be a fifth grader. I say good for the teacher.

  • Coriolana

    Wow. Miss Autumn Fizz chimes in. And she didn’t even learn to capitalise or punctuate properly.

    • Mathteacher

      She was to busy using the restroom during class to learn to capialise or punctuate!

      • Mathteacher


  • CT Native

    Can you say “Lawsuit”?

  • SusanMc

    Any Urologist would tell you that holding it is TOXIC TO YOUR SYSTEM. It is never a good idea to hold it for more than 30 minutes. It can cause a wide variety of related problems. If they don’t want kids playing in the bathroom then there should be a bathroom monitor with a desk in the hall, who keeps the kids in the hall in line and only lets 3 students into the bathroom at a time. That way there wouldn’t be any playing in the bathroom. There IS a way to do this sensibly and everyone is happy. I know that my grandson’s elementary school had a monitor when he went there, it kept the mess in the bathroom to a minimum and the kids got in and got out quickly. The monitor signed the pass, put a time on it as well, and the student turned it in to the teacher. This cuts out roaming the halls and getting into trouble as well as missing the lesson in class. Maybe this teacher is really boring and the kids were all trying to go so they could splash cold water in their faces to stay awake. Did anyone consider this point? Probably not.

  • Ruth Prock

    How very fortunate for you, that you have no medical conditions or diseases which lead to urinary urgency. How fortunate that you do not have a small bladder, or underdeveloped bladder muscles. Yes there are children who take advantage, there are also children who simply CAN’T wait. This is NOT a case where one policy fits all.

  • Lisa

    My daughter was in preschool and was admitted to the hospital with 105.8 fever for 5 days because of pylonephritis. It could have shut down her kidneys. Holding it is not okay in all children, and I don’t think teachers are qualified to determine which kids are at risk.

    • MsT

      These aren’t preschoolers! They are 10 and 11 year olds. They don’t always really have to go. Trust me the kids who know that their parents will take their sides right or wrong will take advantage of the situation every time!

      • whitd2288

        ANOTHER teacher at the school has 5th graders aka 10 & 11 year olds…no where in this article does it state the age of the children that have bathroom rules enacted on them now. FYI….elementary schools have younger children in them as well than 5th graders. This class for all we know could be kindergartners

        • Stephan Fitzgerald Taylor

          Actually, the article starts off with a fifth grader coming home and telling her mother that her teacher has bathroom rules.

      • angela

        Giasemis also teaches fifth grade at P.S. 90. She said last year she had three students urinate on themselves.

        um, they peed on themselves because of her rules.

  • Free to Pee

    Parents have every right to get upset over something that may cause their child to hold their urine longer than they should. It’s THEIR CHILD after all. Holding it, when you really have to go, is bad for the body. Some people have to pee more than others because every body is different. And what about number two? You can’t tell me your poo always comes when it’s convenient, and never takes more than a quick minute in the bathroom. Certainly, some students abuse bathroom passes to get out of class, just as some adults use cigarette breaks to get out of work. But to set everbody’s body to the same standard? Heinous.

    • Rob

      @ Free To Pee
      Are there rules where you work? What about traffic laws or laws against criminal behavior? There has to be a set standard for everyone when dealing with schools and the general public. Otherwise you would have to deal with ignorant parents that think they or their child is above the rules. No child was forced to hold anything in, nor were they denied the ability to use the bathroom. It is possible to train your body to a schedule. In fact, our bodies adapt quite well, even subconciously to an established routine, such as a schedule of times to use the bathroom. Ask any teacher and they will confirm this is how they make it through the day. If you are unhappy with the policies of public schools, you are free to enroll them into private schools.

      • justchangeteachers

        You have bathroom rules where you work? Are you an adult? Head injury victim?

        • Rob

          There are unwritten bathroom rules in every job. Do you use the bathroom in the middle of a meeting with your boss? What about when there are safety requirements that you be present? The rules in this article specify the procedures in place during class. The article does a very poor job of explaining the entire system the teacher has in place. Also, if you want to change teachers, get a degree and become the teacher that you want to have.

      • Amber

        I was a child who always had to use the bathroom growing up. Teachers assumed I was trying to get out of class, so I was denied bathroom use often.

        As a result I have permanent kidney and bladder issues. I will have to take medication for the rest of my life. I will never be able to just hold it in without serious risks to my body. This is what multiple Urologists have said.

        So for all you who seem to think its ok to shame children into holding it in, you are wrong. Its actually physical abuse to deny anyone their right to evacuate their bladder.

      • Morisot

        Bravo Rob. And these people will be the first to complain if their child gets hurt or in trouble while they are wandering the halls alone. And the first to sue when they feel their child hasn’t gotten a good education. If these children can’t make it for an hour and a half without using the bathroom, they should be wearing a “depends” so they and their classmates can get an uninterrupted education. (And I bet these same children can sit playing a computer game or watching TV for 3 hours straight without having to use the bathroom!)

  • AJP

    There are a number of reasons students may need to use the bathroom during class rather than during break. How many facilities are there in relation to the number of students? Are any of them flooded/clogged or not working? Put yourself in the students shoes for one second: You have to use the bathroom. You wait until break time or classes change over and try to follow the rules. You get to the bathroom, and of the four stalls, three are full and one is clogged. There are 4-5 other students waiting to use the bathroom. What do you do? Wait and be late for your next class or go to class and hope the teacher isn’t a “FOLLOW MY RULES NO POTTY BREAKS AGRGGRRRHHHH!” type of teacher. You’re in a lose-lose situation. That student’s anxiety level is now sky high, because everyday they have to hope the bathroom isn’t full so they can go without getting in trouble during class. THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is what takes away from learning in the classroom.

    It’s much easier to police those students who choose to use the restroom as a social lounge than it is to implement a scorched earth policy and treat going to the bathroom as criminal behavior. Teachers know who the frequent fliers are.

    @Bob – You’re probably a fine educator, but assessing someone a tardy if they leave your class to use the bathroom has to be the most asinine policy I’ve ever encountered. Any absolute is absurd. As the saying goes, zero tolerance = zero intelligence. The policy sounds like a cheap cop out. If you can’t manage those students who abuse the restroom, might as well put all the students on lock down, right? Again, totally asinine.

    I’m a teacher myself, and unless I’m in mid-sentence (in which case I ask the student to wait the 1-2 minutes until I finish what I’m saying) they can use the restroom. If it becomes an everyday or multiple times a day thing, there’s a conversation.

    Using the bathroom is a right, not a privilege.

    • Bob

      AJP, just because my policy does not fit into what you believe to be true does not mean it is asinine. If you would have asked for details, or even read some of my other posts, it is easy to see my policy does not deal with absolutes. I never deny anyone the opportunity to use the bathroom. It also never gets to the point where I have to use instruction time or hold a student after class to have a conversation about their excessive bathroom time because they are informed of the rules the first day of class.
      It is actually a very good classroom management tool if you would like to know the full details so that you can tailor it to your use. It isn’t for every teacher, and I believe everyone should use what works for them. However, your singular viewpoint is something that disturbs me about educators. There are multiple ways to work a problem or interpret a passage. There are even many different ways to run a classroom effectively.

  • Small Bladder

    Well, I’d never get any of the prizes because I go to the bathroom a lot!! My dad had to write me notes in elementary school because the teachers wouldn’t let me go as often as I needed to. I would commonly get UTIs for holding it in and whatnot. I was a straight-A student, so going to the bathroom didn’t affect me academically.

    I understand that many kids probably do go to the bathroom to horse around, skip class, etc.

  • snake plisken

    Like baby snakes who have no control over the amount venom is released; very young kids can not control their bladder in that manner. punish the child if he skips class but don’t group those children all together. I know when I was in elementary I had to go to the bathroom randomly all the time and never abused it. Once a teacher told me if it’s an emergency you can pee in the trash…so I did. teacher tried to suspend me but that didn’t pan out. specially when my folks threatened to sue for harassment yeah teacher got fired but noone got sued.

  • ep tor

    If my child is denied access to the bathroom and wets herself or suffers a medical or mental condition as a result of anxiously holding it in, then my lawyer will have a “discussion” with the school, teacher and their respective bank accounts.

    How can a child learn when they’re fidgeting because all their concentration is on holding it in. Can you imagine the embarrassment of a child wetting herslf in front of her classmates? She’d be the butt of jokes for years. I never would have expected bullying from a teacher.

    • Coriolana


    • A Real Parent

      You are the epitome of what is wrong with our society today. Let’s not attempt to teach the child why the teacher thinks this is an appropriate measure to push kids to be the best students they can, instead let’s show them how to TRY to make free money! Sue, sue, sue! “Wahh, my kid can’t use the bathroom 4 and 5 times a day…”

      There should be laws against people like you raising children to further humilate our society. Grow up and be a real role model for your child.

      • Military Man

        WELL SAID!!!

      • youshouldbesterile

        You are a joke of a parent. Your kids will hate you and put you in a early retirement home just to be rid of you. Kidney disease developed from holding in urine will have lasting affects till they grow old. If you have never had a kidney stone or don’t have some basic medical knowledge then you should not voice uneducated opinions. Especially when you are being an insulting jerk. Don’t be a role model to any kids, society begs you.

    • Laceyh

      Well Said!!!!

  • Mike

    A true story. I had a teacher in 3rd grade that had a similar policy. One time a kid in my class asked 4 times and got sent to stand in the corner. He REALLY had to go and came out of the corner nearly in tears to ask one more time, the teacher told pointed to the corner and said GO TO THE CORNER. Jason took her literally and went in the corner… He was our hero the rest of the school year.

    • anthrogirl

      I can relate. As a kid, I told my parents I had to pee and they didn’t believe me. I ended up peeing my pants in the car. My sibs thought I was the hero because we were on our way to get swine flu shots but had to turn around and go home. As a parent, I understand that kids often don;t recognize they have to pee until they really have to go…. and if you don’t respond, you’re left with clean up on aisle four. I know, it’s happended to me (my kids)…. in the store, in the car and even in my daughter’s dance class.

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