to keep DD off school due to her period

(237 Posts)
FrameyMcFrame Fri 05-Jul-13 07:46:43

It's school sports day today and DD (11) has just come on to her period.

This would be ok normally but the school has a rule that you have to leave your school bag in the classroom so DD logistically can't change her sanitary towel at school unless she gets it out of her bag and carries it in her hand along to the loos.
Obviously she is too embarrassed to do this so she always comes home in a bit of a mess when she is on her period at school. With it being sports day, this is going to be a problem with changing and the embarrassment associated so I've decided to keep her at home today. AIBU? And what should I say to the school as a reason for her absence?

PuppyMonkey Fri 05-Jul-13 08:29:04

My mum always let me skive off on Sports Day. grinI say yanbu - but I would also have a word with a teacher or the pastoral care person about the issue of the bags.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 05-Jul-13 08:31:45

Do you have a very small backpack? Send her with her pads, a drink and tissues in there, and a note for the teacher explaining why she needs it. She can tell her friends she hasn't felt well if they ask why she has a bag with drink etc.

BikeRunSki Fri 05-Jul-13 08:40:49

YANBU. It's sports day, she's not missing any vital academic input. I hated having my period at school, and "fortunately" crippling cramps and migraines kept me off a lot anyway. Stay home. Lie in the sun. Watch films. Paint toe nails. Eat chocolate.

And tell school to sort out their policy !

girlywhirly Fri 05-Jul-13 08:41:09

So they don't carry their bags with them to different rooms/lessons? I used to manage by changing my pad at the end of a lesson before break or lunch, so I had my bag with me before it was left in the classroom. If your DD stays in the same room for all lessons I can see how it becomes more complicated.

Where do they hang their coats, could she keep a pad in her coat/blazer pocket and collect it on the way to the loo?

I know at 11 it seems incredibly embarrassing to have to discuss this, or know that it is discussed with others, but for the wellbeing of the girls I think something has to change. It's as shame that girls are now physically ready to menstruate, but still find it difficult to manage emotionally and practically. But I think also that menstruation is something that girls should learn to cope with and not use as an excuse to get out of physical activity, which will actually benefit them during a period (with the exception of swimming in a swimming pool out of consideration for others)

And whoever designed a school uniform with no pockets should be shot!

HotCrossPun Fri 05-Jul-13 08:41:23

I'd keep her off for today, unless she is particularly into sports then she won't be missing much.

What a silly rule, it sounds as if it has just been an oversight on the school's part.

tinkerbellvspredator Fri 05-Jul-13 08:47:02

I agree about speaking to the school. If they won't change how about sewing a pocket with zip onto the inside of her school skirt?

SanityClause Fri 05-Jul-13 08:56:03

My friend's DD started her period quite early, and was in junior school. My friend came to an arrangement with the (male) teacher, that if her DD was unable to do swimming because of her period, she would send in a note saying she had an ear infection. This was all done so discreetly that none of the other girls knew anything about it.

I do think you should have tried to sort something out before now, but, as you haven't, then keep her off, but make sure you arrange something for next time.

bigTillyMint Fri 05-Jul-13 09:05:02

What do all the other girls do when it's their period then? They will all have the same problemconfused

cantreachmytoes Fri 05-Jul-13 09:05:05

How are girls supposed to feel good about their bodies when they have to figure out ways to get around being humiliated for its normal, healthy functions!

I'm definitely in the stay home today camp - because she wants to - and bring it up with the school in a general way later (so she's not embarrassed).

FrameyMcFrame Fri 05-Jul-13 09:08:19

The bags stay in the classroom and they have to take books and pencil cases with them to each lesson. They are not allowed to return to their form class apart from at break and lunch so they have to organise what books they need during registration for the morning and again after break/lunch.
No other children will be carrying a bag or backpack so although that's a good idea she won't be able to do it because she will feel attention is being drawn towards her being the only one with a bag.
I don't know what the solution is, I think that the sanitary pads should be available in the loos but even then I bet silly people would mess around with them and stick them on to people etc...

FrameyMcFrame Fri 05-Jul-13 09:08:53

Oh and I rang the school and said she was feeling sick.

HandMini Fri 05-Jul-13 09:09:10

Yup, keep her at home today, and enjoy the time together.

But I would write a letter / email to school talking generally about how your daughter is finding managing her periods at school difficult because of the rules and can they think about how to work it so she doesn't have to wander round with a pad in her hand.

So insensitive and stupid to make girls do this, especially at Yr 5-8 which is quite young still.

FrameyMcFrame Fri 05-Jul-13 09:10:51

None of her friends have started yet so we don't know what other girls do at the school to manage yet BigTillyMint.

Aetae Fri 05-Jul-13 09:12:54

Seriously? What an utterly ridiculous rule. She's certainly not the only girl who has started her periods at the school. They really haven't thought their policies through and you really should talk to them about it - it's not drawing attention to her it's about all the girls in this position.

And I agree with girly, it shouldn't be such a taboo subject - half the population do it for 30 odd years, it's silly that we're all so coy about it. Not that at 11 I'd expect her to be flying the flag for societal change and being blatant about it, but she shouldn't be mortified either. And tbh I don't think girls should get super special treatment unless they genuinely have debilitating periods - she will at some point need to learn how to handle it and have a normal life.

Damnautocorrect Fri 05-Jul-13 09:15:01

At my primary school they were able to use the toilet in the medical room and keep their bits in there as it had the sani bins and was vaguely a staff loo.

Squitten Fri 05-Jul-13 09:16:08

It's not up to you to find a solution OP. I would be complaining to the school too. Also have to agree with others who have said that your daughter has to get used to managing this and dealing with it.

bigTillyMint Fri 05-Jul-13 09:20:14

Framey, I would ask the school what she is supposed to do. She will not be the first girl to have this problemsmile

BackforGood Fri 05-Jul-13 09:22:21

Of course YABU to keep her off school because she has her period - are you planning to encourage her to miss school (and then work?) for a few days each month for the rest of her life? hmm.
It's just something the school hasn't thought about - a lot of dc don't start their periods until a fair bit older so it's just something that's probably not crossed their radar. You need to contact the school, explain what the issue is, and they will work out a solution.

Can she tuck the pad in her school skirt or trousers?

I used to do that when i had to leave my bag in locker at
School

NoobytheWaspSlayer Fri 05-Jul-13 09:27:59

Could you sew a little pocket into the inside of her skirt/trousers waistband so she could tuck a towel in there? That's what my Mum did for me.

xylem8 Fri 05-Jul-13 09:29:33

I would email the school and ask them whwere they are supposed to keep sanpro given they are not allowed to take their bags into the toilets..Your DD can't be the only one it causes problems for

Goldmandra Fri 05-Jul-13 09:30:46

I would phone the school nurse, explain the problem and ask her to raise it with the school as a general concern without mentioning your or your DD's name.

Starting periods is a stressful time for girls and not all have supportive mums who will try to help them find solutions to this problem. Some, no doubt, will have ended up is horrible messes trying to keep their period private whilst not breaking the rules.

The school needs to think this one through for the sake of all of the girls in their care.

claraschu Fri 05-Jul-13 09:31:02

No one should have to hide pads down their skirt or sleeve and feel embarrassed. That is terrible.

GiveItYourBestShot Fri 05-Jul-13 09:31:08

Buy her a really big pencil case with room for a pad inside?

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