to keep DD off school due to her period(237 Posts)
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?
Do the bags have to stay in the classroom even at break time?
Primary or secondary school?
Either way that rule needs changing.
And you need to talk/write to the school, they should have a better arrangement, something like a towel machine in the toilets, or maybe just a locker with some sanitary towels.
Go into school, tell the teacher and come up with a plan- all reasonable teachers will make an exception for her.
If not you are setting a bad example.
If the school will not be flexible (unlikely) then you are being reasonable.
It's a middle school (year 5 to 8).
Yes the bags are to be left in form classroom all day.
You need to talk to school about the impact of the rule. Sounds like they haven't thought it through. Phone and say you'll have to keep her off unless they can make reasonable arrangements.
The school needs to find a work-around. We can't have a situation where girls are missing school because of their period!
Is this primary school? Are they not used to girls who have started?
Can she not fold her towel and put it in her pocket? (Although if in sports kit I see the problem)
Sports day is foul and is only fun for about 1% of pupils and an embarrasing trial for the other 99%. Take the day off.
I have been known to tuck a sanitary towel down the side of my bra under my arm in a similar situation. Maybe that could work for her?
Actually there are no pockets in her school uniform.
Euphimia, it's a middle school, so year 5 to 8.
She has begged me to stay off. I think she would be even more mortified if I rang the school and complained or drew attention to her in this way...
Fold the towel and tuck it in the waistband of her p.e kit
Or call the school and say she is sick?
I agree with the post about a vending machine or locker with pads/towels in it
At my work they put a small make up bag above the toilet and inside were towels and tampons (couldn't always get to staff lockers and young children around) maybe this idea would work for the school toilet
Keep her off poor lamb and then do as the above have suggested and get some help for all those poor children that have to put up with the embarrassing situation.
lots of chocolate and sunshine
So girls are expected to either advertise they are menstruating to the world or not change all day?
They need to change their bag rule.
And let her stay home.
Yes I think they should think through a system. The only trouble with tucking the towel under arm etc is that she will be in the classroom with all the others so she'd have to get it out in front of the other kids.
And if she kept it tucked in somewher all day there would be a chance of it dropping out on the floor which would be worse...
What a stupid rule!
Keep her home and do speak to the school so they can sort it out.
I remember our school doing similar and we would rummage in our bag pretending to look for something whilst trying to put tampax/pad up our jumper sleeve... Madness!
I'd keep her off, and go in next week and explain why to the HT. Unapologetically. Way too many coping skills to expect of an 11yo.
I'd keep her off for the day but write to the school saying that the rule needs to be changed as it isn't fair on menstruating girls especially on sports day when girls are in their PE kits
Call the school and insist she is allowed to take her bag into the loos at breaks. You can't have your daughter missing school because of a normal biological function which 50% of the population experience.
I thought this was going to be about your DD being sick and in severe pain.
Call the school and tell them that she needs access to her bag.
Letting her have the day off because of period embarrassment is an awful message to give her.
That is a stupid rule.
Maybe ask the school if she can take a small bag e.g. a make up bag with the sanitary towels to the toilet, rather than her school bag.
Although I can understand your daughter's embarrassment, and it might be more sensitive to her just to keep her off school today.
Do you have any money belts at home (ie ones that go under your clothes for carrying your money/passport when you are on holiday?) If so, could she wear one of them with a towel in it?
I do agree it is a ridiculous rule that they obviously haven't thought through and it should be raised with the school.
Really stupid rule. Do speak to the school about how impractical it is.
And keep her off for today.
I'd keep her off today too.
I would go and speak to them next week and insist that some solution is come up with.
Oh how horrid for her. Surely the school can come up with a plan? . I'd try the school nurse or her CT. I have visions of children having to wear pads on on top of the other and strip off the top one when needed!!!
Id totally keep her off. And eat cake together. Sports day is crap, extra crap with period going on....
My mum always let me skive off on Sports Day. I say yanbu - but I would also have a word with a teacher or the pastoral care person about the issue of the bags.
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.
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 !
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!
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.
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?
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.
What do all the other girls do when it's their period then? They will all have the same problem
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).
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...
Oh and I rang the school and said she was feeling sick.
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.
None of her friends have started yet so we don't know what other girls do at the school to manage yet BigTillyMint.
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.
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.
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.
Framey, I would ask the school what she is supposed to do. She will not be the first girl to have this problem
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? .
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
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.
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
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.
No one should have to hide pads down their skirt or sleeve and feel embarrassed. That is terrible.
Buy her a really big pencil case with room for a pad inside?
>they have to take books and pencil cases with them to each lesson.
Can't she carry two pencil cases - one containing her pads/wipes? I guess this doesn't apply to the particular issue of sports day but for normal days I'd have thought that would be a practical solution - and less obvious to other kids than carrying her whole bag around.
YANBU at all. I understand why some PPs have suggested tucking a pad into a bra or waistband but at that age, I would have been mortified had it fallen out!
I agree with the PPs that say keep your DD off and get the school to change the stupid rule.
My workplace used to have this rule, or rather my particular team did as we had a particularly snotty team leader. All bags must stay tucked under your desk unless leaving for lunch.
I had a box of tampons in my desk drawer. Got one out one day and announced I was going to be away from my desk (also a requirement as a very call heavy office so had to say I was away from desk).
Boss said on a snippy tone "and just what are you doing? What is in your hand?" So I wordlessly waved the tampon at him. He went an interesting blotchy colour and since then he turns a blind eye to us ladies taking our bags to the loo!
I would say that your daughters school needs to revise the rules, or as suggested above provide a selection of towels/tampons in the loos.
You knew this was the rule so presumably you knew it could be a possibility in advance. You should have already approached the school about it instead of waiting until the day then deciding to keep your DD home. So what of the majority of children don't like sports day, does that mean we should find reasons for them to be off school that day as well.
I understand your DD doesn't want to advertise the fact that she is on her period, even now I wouldn't want to do that. But given the school rule about bags this should have been dealt with long before now as surely your DD is not the only girl at the school to have her periods.
good for you, Lady Flump! I wish we could normalise people just getting out a tampon and not feeling the need to hide it - but that sort of change in attitude has to start with adults or older teens not little girls.
Lady flump what sort of place did you work in? That sounds like hell being treated like children.
ditto. Stupid rule. Don't they know that girls have periods and need to deal with them discreetly?
having to stay home because of a period is a 19th century situation. Get the rule changed.
Is she in her final year at the school? I'm just thinking that she might not have this problem at the school again if she's leaving. But the school obviously needs to work something out.
I used to wear two pairs of knickers and tuck a spare pad between them at the front. Obviously not ideal, but it works well enough!
You need to have a word with the school though, ask what they suggest. If nobody's ever told them, they genuinely might not realise it's a problem.
I think the ideas of tucking pads in places is not going to work... especially on sports day when they're running and jumping around!!! Falling out on the track would not be a good idea.
Pencil case...what if someone opens it? Embarrassment
She's read this thread now and she is shouting 'PLEASE don't speak to the school!'
It's not easy being 11. I think I will speak to my health visitor and see if she can speak to the school
Talk to the school yourself. It sounds like you find periods embarrassing too? They're not they're just a part of life. You need to demonstrate this to our dd.
Pencil case sounds doable as does pocket sewn into skirt.
I used to have a small bag to put towels in, a suitably sized pencil case would do and wouldn't look too weird to be carrying around school.
Ah middle schools here too. My dd started at 11 but others had before her. Don't tell your dd but obviously talk to the school about it.
Surprised they aren't clued up to be honest as our middle school was great. 11 seems normal age now bless.
Oh and keep her off, sunbathe and enjoy.
Pencil case with tiny decorative padlock?
I bet some of her friends have started, you know!
Framey'sDD -- honestly, you're not the only one. DD would also rather die than mention periods to anyone (and indeed expects me to guess whether she needs more towels without ever actually saying the word).
Sometimes it's no fun being 11.
Can she keep towel in coat pocket and go and get it from there on her way to toilet ? What do other girls do? Has she spoke to her friends or can you speak to friends Mums?
It's complete overkill to involve the health visitor. Just talk to the school! At middle school age, she won't be the only pupil with this issue.
We have no rules here about bags, but rather than lug my giant handbag to the loos, I tend to pop sanpro in a pocket/sleeve/top of tights in my office and then go.
My DD started her periods at 10. She went to a very small primary school and the new male headmaster/teacher hadn't had a lot of experience with this side of things, also DD was quite reserved socially and hated the idea of a) growing up at all and b) being singled out in any way. When her second period arrived she had swimming scheduled for the next day and she was distraught, wanting to stay home sick. I did explain that she couldn't start missing school for what was a natural part of her life as a woman and said I would have to speak to her teacher about her missing swimming. She reluctantly agreed. he was lovely, said' sorry to hear she has forgotten her kit tomorrow but remind her to bring a book' . What I'm trying to say is at that age it is very much up to the school to help smooth what can be a uncomfortable time and I hope for the sake of your DD and all the others at your school that you follow this up to make life a little easier.
Sew her a pocket inside her skirt - definitely.
This is ridiculous though! Reminds me of my all girls private school - however, that was back in 1984! It's 2013 for goodness sake.
I also used to always wear my gym knickers over my normal knickers - felt safer somehow!
I think keeping her off today was good. However, if school goes up to year 8, that's 13 years old- lots of girls will have started by then, surely?
Framey's daughter if you're reading this- my mum had to go into my primary school and make them put a sanitary bin in the toilets, as there wasn't one in any pupils' loos in the school (can only assume I was first girl in whole school to start?!) and they had originally suggested I use the staff room toilets at those time. I can still remember the However, she spoke to a really sympathetic female teacher, who dealt with the whole thing very discretely, and it made my life so much easier.
Framey if at all poss see if you can source a skirt with a pocket (Or could you attach a pocket to the inside?!) My mum managed to find one, and then gave me a little case to keep a towel in, so even if it fell out it wouldnt automatically be obvious what it was.
i'd keep my dd off in the situation and have a really fun day.
perhaps a dvd and snacks or even a nice day out somewhere
Happygirl, my dad had to argue the case for sanitary bins (and separate girls'/boys' loos) in his primary school when he was a very new young head teacher.
Mum says he apparently blushed like mad when trying to explain it to the governing body but got through his speech manfully and won his case.
The previous (female) head was apparently the sort of old-school dragon in whose presence no girl would dare mention
or even have a period.
I'm surprised that a middle school hasn't come across this situation before and understands the problem some girls have. Perhaps it has an all male staff!!! I remember our Y6s having THE talk from the school nurse and one of the boys complaining afterwards that it wasn't fair that only the girls had been given goody bags.
It is totally ludicrous that a middle school doest appear to have facilities. MAKE A FUSS!!! Without your DD knowing, of course
I'm sorry OP but she is a child, you have to be the adult here and speak to the school. Policy will not change otherwise. All these ideas of extra knickers and hidden pockets and oversized pencil cases are nice, but they're essentially unneccessary work arounds for a ridiculous and ill thought out policy. It's the policy that needs changing, and quite franky they're likely to just feel embarrassed and silly at not having seen this one coming, and find a solution for you (and every other girl in this situation).
They're hardly going to have an assembly announcing your daughter has started her periods are they? No one will know any change in rules has anything to do with your daughter, and life will be immediately better for her.
And before anyone accuses me of not knowing the bitter mortification of a primary child dealing with periods; been there, done that.
I agree with stunt girl. if the problem is bad enough for your daughter to not want to go to school on sports day then it's bad enough to mention to the school. Despite your daughter's comments it's highly unlikely that she's the only menstruating girl in the school.
Whether or not you mention it to the school shouldn't be her decision. I wouldn't have shown her the thread.
Can she double up with tampon and towel and then just take tampon out going to the loo halfway through the day? This has worked for me in bagless situations!!
The school nurse suggested to DDs class that they use a large pencil-case to hide a pad or tampon in.
They also practised dipping tampons in a glass of water to watch them swell up...
Seriously? you are going to keep your dd off school because of her period!!! And you have lied to school saying she is ill?
What a terrible example to set your daughter
The easiest solution of all, is for the rule requiring bags to be left in form classroom to be scrapped.
If all the children, girls and boys, carried their bags to each lesson it would:
a) ensure the girls could be as discreet as they liked,
b) also provide less of an opportunity for theft. I doubt the form classrooms are locked when the children are not in there.
DD and most of her friends started periods in Y7. She'd have been absolutely mortified at the thought of having to deal with sanitary protection in the way the OP's child is having to.
Girls are beginning periods at a younger age, and the school needs to deal with this.
No it's terrible that the dd is put in this situation
I think an email to the head would be a good idea, this issue needs high lighting asap.
Ds is at middle school and they carry bags to lessons just like at high school.
I started my periods at 10 and it was fine. My mum had a discreet word with my teacher and everything was sorted
Isn't the average age for starting periods now 13? So in the year 8s, you would expect about half the girls to have started? Reassure your daughter she is not as unique as she thinks.
I would also wager that 1/4 of the year 8s have not stayed home today because they have their periods.
Your DD should not be having to manage this at all. Special pockets and all that...really good ideas but all this is not her problem. She's only a little thing and should not be having to make special arrangements and risk being 'found out' because of a stupid policy. I tuck tampax up my sleeve to get from my desk to the toilet but children shd not have to worry about this.
Isn't the average age for starting periods now 13? So in the year 8s, you would expect about half the girls to have started?
Actually I think it's 12. So the majority of year 8 girls and about half of year 7 (and a smaller proportion of year 6 and 5) will have started.
But it can still be quite distressing for someone who has only recently started and is insecure.
girlywhirly bit of a side issue but your post upthread said:
"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)"
Why do you think that menstruating women / girls shouldn't swim "out of consideration for others"?
I bet quite a few of the other year 7 and many year 8s are carrying large or additional 'pencil cases'. Which other children of this age don't go prying into uninvited on a regular basis and don't notice.
There may be some sensible reason for not wanting the kids to cart their bags around school.
Another vote for keeping her off. Then slap ht with a cold fish. Idiot - is it male?
I expect its so no stealing? Tripping on sports field?
I just bought some Bodyform pads this week in Waitrose and they have a really thin tin free with them that holds pads. That would fit in a pencil case?
Would your daughter like me to make her a pretty small fabric purse to keep in her pencil case to put her pads in?
That's what I used in school and still have in my handbag.
If so, let me know and next time I have the sewing machine up I will make her one.
YANBU. Too late I know but does she wear a bra? I keep a towel in my bra when I've got AF in case of emergencies and if for whatever reason I don't have a bag with me at a loo trip. The school might not have thought about this before, I'd tell them the real reason for her absence so they can change how it's organised in future to save any other girls having the same worries.
As said up thread our middle school was very clued up and when dd started at 11 she was by no means the first.
I can't believe she's the first to start as in dds case lots started at 10/11
My dd went from pads to tampons in 2 periods so could swim and do games. She hated pads as do I.
Defiantly chat to the school but again Amazed at this predicament.
i'd put money on the head, or whoever made that rule, being male!!!
Defo have a chat with HT about how --silly- impractical the rule is. They must b ale to come up with some solution to save her having to parade sanitary wear down the corridor.
if the HT happens to be female, i'd be tempted to ask her to walk around with a sign telling everyone she's on her period and see if she likes it
I remember our Y6s having THE talk from the school nurse and one of the boys complaining afterwards that it wasn't fair that only the girls had been given goody bags.
Hahaha, eddie He can't have been listening!
I should let your mum raise the matter with the school, Framey's DD, so it can be dealt with more sensibly in the future, and for the sake of other girls who're starting their periods.
I used to have such ridiculous, and unpredictable, periods that I couldn't get into work without breaking my journey to change. My horrible, shouty boss was totally unsympathetic about why this made me late for work although I had explained to his PA about the flooding. He was having a go at me one morning, booming "My wife has period pains! She doesn't lie in bed moaning!" I'd had enough so I yelled back, "IT'S NOT ABOUT PAIN, I AM BLEEDING LIKE A BATTLEFIELD! I'M WEARING THREE TAMPONS AND A PAD, DO YOU WANT TO HAVE A LOOK?" Just before the rest of the (very large) office collapsed in giggles, he went very red & stuttery
Mind you, so did I
I don't understand why so many people have advised you to keep her off school OP (nor why you have done so). If her normal uniform doesn't have pockets then what does the fact it is sports day have to do with anything? Are you going to keep her off for a few days every month?
If you won't speak to the school (which a parent is going to have to do) because your child will be embarrassed, you need to have some plan in place for her future periods at this school, and unless today is the first day of her first ever period, you should have done so sooner. Sewing a little pocket into the lining of her skirt/trousers would take seconds.
Keeping her off school because you don't deem sports day to be important enough, and lying to the school about it is sending her a terrible message. Sorry, but YABU.
SOrry, I agree with Umlauf. I think ringing in sick was a bad call, and really unhelpful to everyone. This is a thoughtless policy, and it needs changing, but wimping out is no use to anyone.
I too have an 11 year old who is mortified by periods, but I wouldn't have gone for this option: if you'd rung the school, they weren't going to shout it out of the megaphone to everyone. They know girls have periods, and I would imagine they'd just be embarrassed not to have thought of a way around this sooner.
When I was at school (girls school) each loo block had one large cubicle with it's own basin and the incinerator. No one would go in there ever, even to the extent of waiting in a big queue, because it advertised that you had a period. Back then it easy quite usual to flush your pads and tampons, so we just used a regular cubicle. Must have caused a few blockages!!
It's understandable the 11 year old girl is embarrassed.
The rule is a shit one and needs changing.
However OP I think it's pretty disgraceful you kept her off school, disgraceful you didn't give the real reason and very childish not to try and find a solution with the school.
How hard is it to keep some pads or towels in her pencil case in a little pretty bag? Not. At. All.
Umlauf, the point is she hasn't ever been able to change it at school so by the end of the day she's in a mess really. Thats ok if you've got black tights and a black skirt on, but in sports kit and changing with others in the changing rooms is not a good idea.
Changing rooms have been a source of upset with another girl in DDs class telling her that she needs to wear a proper bra not a crop top which really upset her
Whoever said i shouldn't have shown her the thread... why not????
Actually she read it while i was getting dressed anyway.
She has 3 close friends, none of whom have started yet. We don't know anyone else well enough to ask sensitive questions.
Pencil cases are not a good place to keep sanitary pads. All the kids look in each others pencil cases. A san towel being found in a pencil case would cause humiliation
I wouldn't have her going the whole day without changing it, it might be okay now but she could get heavier at any time. I remember being in year 7 on the school bus home and a girl standing up to leave with a bright red patch on her bum. (She was the coolest girl in school and just laughed it off but said later shed never had it that heavy before).
In fact, and this Was mortifying, aged 25 I was wedding dress shopping in a really expensive designer boutique in London we couldn't really afford, the designer herself was there helping me, and I got my period an hour before my appointment. Despite a 1 hour old sanitary towel and 2 pairs of spanx, I still managed to get a huge red patch on the back of a £3k dress, which I then had to buy as I'd ruined it!! The whole shop was white apart from my bum. Luckily I liked the dress and was able to clean it up enough in time for the wedding but I'm still paying back the debt!!! Anyway, that's another story, but my point is periods can be unpredictable and could lead to a FAR more embarrassing scenario.
A) go to accessorise and buy one of the tiny fabric coin purses, just big enough for one pad. Pop it in pencil case. If another child opens pencilcase, pad out of view.
B) buy square of fabric and stitch into lining of clothes on 3 sides to make pocket. Ur safety pin to close top side. (too late for sports day but useful for future). You can get ultra thin pads that wouldn't add bulk.
C) TALK TO SCHOOL!! You don't even have to say its about her specifically, and certainly don't tell her you have done. Just say you noticed the rule about bags and wondered what girls on periods were supposed to do. Mention it next parents evening.
I can't believe this has not caused a problem for pupils before. What an utterly stupid rule! It needs to be sorted out properly with the head teacher.
That's exactly what I've been saying, SD
I don't understand why she is so embarrassed either. I had awful period pains. I used to end up in the medical room with a hot water bottle regularly. Everyone knew why I was there. Another girl had the same issue and we synched and used to have to share the water bottle! I was 12 when my periods started so not much older than your daughter.
Oh god it's not a school in Sussex is it? Why has nothing got better since I was a kid (nearly a 100 blood years ago) we had this same problem!
Combined with bag searches where everything was emptied out on to a table / the floor etc
It was hell on earth
I regularly used to find girls sobbing in the loos (I was one of those sympathic kids)
In the end it was the MALE janitor that took pity on us and he used to leave one of the cupboards unlocked (highly against h and s even back then) in 1 girls bathroom and we all kept a few bits in there his wife god bless her used to buy (out of her own money) a few different types of protection encase any of us got caught short
In the other school building we learnt how to open the paper towel dispenser (using the back if a house key) it was the type that had folded towels (hideous things that didn't dry anything) and keep a supply in there
Do right to the school and get them to engage there brain
Poor kid, she should never have been put in this position in the first place.
I would talk to the head without her knowing tbh, she is only 11 and can't be expected to make the right choice here when embarrassment is the end of the world at that age. I "betrayed" my ds1 by talking to the school about bullying and I haven't regretted it.
Sports day, setting an example etc - meh. Sports day IS a waste of time. Most people I know hated it as kids and would have got out of it if they could. They're happy balanced people. I'd keep my child off in your situation.
Oh, poor girl! I had the same issue when I was that age (almost 30 years ago!) and always came home in a horrible mess on days when I had my period at school. My mum used to phone in sick for me when it was sports day and I had my period. And she worked in a school (not mine).
How are schools STILL not making this easier for our girls?!
> A san towel being found in a pencil case would cause humiliation
It might embarrass a boy if he was rooting around (and TBH by 11 they should have a bit more respect for other people's belongings) but why would it cause humiliation? Its not something to be ashamed of - on the whole from what I remember myself and from my own DD's reaction girls are rather chuffed to reach this milestone. The other girls will need gear when they're mature enough too.
I know, this is a ridiculous example of "pretend it's not happening"
Give them what for, OP!
And I hope DD had a luffly day off
Grimma, I really don't see why an 11yo should be having to make allowances for her school's inadequate pupil care, nor why she should just 'deal with' other pupils' cruelty. The school should be making reasonable adjustments, with compassion.
Yanbu, the school needs to make provisions allowing menstruating girls to use the toilet discreetly without embarrassment.
The school has a responsibility to provide an environment that is healthy and hygienic and in which the pupils dignity is respected.
Either your DD has misunderstood the policy that enables menstruating pupils to keep themselves clean in a dignified and private manner, or the school isn't doing it's job.
Either way, the OP needs to get in touch with the school and to find out the true facts. If the school has a policy which regularly means that many girls are going home in a humiliating mess, then I think this is a safeguarding issue which could be reasonably escalated to governors and/or Ofsted.
a lot of young girls are very embarrassed about their periods though, they are just getting used to dealing with them and after all grown women don't tend to go around waving tampons in the air in public do they?
I started my periods in the last few months of primary school, but i cant remember how I dealt with changes at school. At secondary I had a skirt with a pocket in it. I certainly cant remember anyone taking their school bag to the toilet in either school unless they were moving between classes.
Just read this and am horrified that this is the case in this day and age.
Back in the 80s, a girl in my primary school class started her periods at 9 and the school made provision for a sanpro bin in the PE changing room toilets, rather than the usual toilets or making her use the staff toilets. We also had 'the talk' with our female head teacher and were told to go to her if we had questions or anyone was ever caught short.
I don't agree with calling in sick when someone isn't sick as a rule, but in this case I think it was well and truly justified. What else was she supposed to do?
I can't believe schools don't have policies on this kind of thing, particularly given the high concentration of female staff in primary and middle schools - and the fact that girls are starting their periods at younger and younger ages.
Saying that, my high school used to keep the toilets locked and only unlock them at lunchtime, in a bid to stop people smoking in them. There were complaints from parents about that...
>I really don't see why an 11yo should be having to make allowances for her school's inadequate pupil care
of course not - but the OP put the problem as not being able to get the bag out of the room. In terms of being obvious that she's on, I'd have thought carting a bag into the loo would be less discreet than some of the alternatives suggested. I think the OP should talk to the school so they can get their act together, but they need to come up with something that really solves the problem.
>nor why she should just 'deal with' other pupils' cruelty
certainly not... but is this the sort of thing kids are cruel about? Maybe I've just been very lucky never to see it myself.
Sorry to hear that. You really do need to get the school to deal with this - your DD simply must be given the means to sort herself out during the school day in a dignified manner.
Good luck with it!
That's a nice offer you made SecondStarToTheRight
I used to furtle in my bag and put tampon up my sleeve
I don't understand why she is so embarrassed...
DD started when she was 11 in Year 7. After chatting with her, ALL her friends who started felt embarrassed. It's a big thing for them, and the boys at that age are not exactly subtle either. So the girls don't want to go to the loos and risk others knowing that they are going to change sanpro.
If the girls at this school are having to leave their bags in one classroom (the form room) while having lessons in another, then the ability to be discreet is reduced.
Even at my age (44), while I'm not embarrassed about having to change sanpro, I don't exactly advertise it when in the office.
Don't understand why she is so embarrassed? Seriously, do you remember what being a teen is like?
I don't really understand the enormity of the problem and my dd started periods at 10 in primary (although I felt able to see the head and ensure there was support in place - and there was oodles).
- big pencil case with compartments.
- skirt pocket
- purse belt
- blazer pockets
- couple of towels pinned to inside of skirt with safety pins
... and does no-one remember thick waist high gym knickers with ribbed legs, thick lining and an inside pocket for a "hanky"? The alternatives sound better and learning a bit about improvisation can only be good. Can't it? Surely better than time off. --though I've offered to ring dd in sick next week for sports day because she's hopeless at sport and hates it
Sanitary towels pinned inside her skirt? Good grief!
YANBU, why on earth should a child be put through this. The school are being controlling dicks.
Op are you going to speak to the school?
I am as to what the other girls do?!
Sounds like a nightmare for your dd though and I can understand why you kept her off and why your dd is embarrassed.
However you need to ring the school and ask what are girls meant to do when they have their period and have not got access to their bags.
I started my periods at 11. I remember crying to my Mum begging her not to even tell my Dad.
I feel for your DD, it's a ridiculous rule. Someone does need to speak to the school though.
Ok then valium if the skirt doesn't have a pocket sew a little pocket inside then rather than using a safety pin. I just see lots of ways of getting round this.
Have also shown this to dd who says no to going into school but yes to pockets secret or otherwise.
Yes I think it is such a big deal. DD would not want her teachers to know even. Also her class teacher is a male, he's very nice but it would be the height of embarrassment if he were to be involved in any way.
They are doing human reproduction in science at the moment so there has been plenty of talking about periods etc. DD says there are sanitary bins in the loos. But I just think they've failed to think through the practicalities of how it works for the kids.
I refuse to put panty liners in DDs pencil case/bra/knickers/skirt.
The idea of it falling out while doing handstands on the field... She wouldn't do it anyway for that reason.
Well surely if she's coming home in a blood stained mess because she can't change her sanny she won't be doing handstands anyway so that isn't really an issue. Yes, they shoukd have access to sanny's but if you won't speak out and deal with it then you have to think of alternatives. Isn't that common sense. FGS just sew a pocket into her hem or a zip onto her skirt pocket.
I am in my 30's and find it embarrassing that I go into the loo with my handbag when at work so god knows what this poor girl is thinking. Op - I think you sound lovely and I really feel times have moved on since when I was young. I was terribly embarrassed by periods, my mum knowing, my dad knowing etc. The thought of ANYONE at school - even my bf knowing I was on my periods would have been mortifying. I really hope the school listen to you op but you would have think they would have worked this out before now!
I feel for your DD. I started periods when I was 10 and was the only one out of my friend who had and it was pretty awkward. Although I did let them know that I had started my period they just asked me questions about it instead of their Mums when they started at around 11/12 as they felt awkward even telling their Mums.
I think you should mention it to the head of year or to a female teacher that your DD gets on well with. She can approach her form future instead of you or her and will hopefully get rid of a bit of embarrassment.
I'd have kept her off in these circumstances too. Only because of the sports day complication mind you. Those saying yabu just imagine the embarrassment and horror that would follow if she were to have a mishap in her sports kit. Poor kid.
I would then go into school and talk to someone about the situation and get it sorted. She will not be the only girl that has started her periods. My Dd started last year aged just 9 poor kid. She is tiny and everyone was surprised by it and in the massive school she goes too NO ONE had a pad to give her! They called me and I arrived with some! Anyway, since then they have been brilliant and very kind and sensitive.
I'm utterly unembarassed about it now, as befits an adult of my advanced years but I can only assume that anyone who doesn't know how cruel children can be about this stuff started their periods rather late.
I was nearly ten and it was utterly humiliating having to do all that, I hesitate to think how awful it would have been to have to cope with one pad all day under these circumstances. Your poor DD, she has my sympathy.
Time for this school's utterly hurtful rule to change.
Someone needs to go into the school and request that they look again at the policies and why.
Because why should all the girls have to faff around to find a secretive way of doing things? Sewing pockets inside skirts? Extra pencil cases/purses? Why? When the easiest thing is to just have your bag with you.
At DD's school, the children carry their bags around between lessons. They go and change at break times if required. So far, as they ALL have their bags with them, no one knows if they're on or not. The school insists that they either keep bags with them or put them in their lockers, in any case not to leave them lying around.
Yanbu. Your poor dd. I would speak to a female teacher in confidence, so that your dd won't find out you've done so. They need to change the bag rule.
I remember the embarrassment of trying to hide a sanitary towel up my sleeve in primary school.Let her have the day off.
Why does your dd think it's such an embarrassment though? My dd started her periods at 10 - we celebrated it; we had cake and pierced ears and love and higs and lots of hugs. Her dad and DS got cake and went ugh tmi and were told to belt up. Her primary head was v supportive though and we got code words and everything and dd had a male teacher. If she needed the loo during lessons she just had to say "I need to go and see Mrs jones for a moment". Once she got to secondary I didn't even ask about arrangements although afyer a quick chat tonight - dd can access her locker between lessons.
If you have spoken to school and they have refused to rreview I think you have a point. But you haven't and if you aren't prepared to deal with it then stop complaining. At the least you could write an anonymous letter to the head and the school nurse. If you don't like suggestions then you have to resolve it else put up and shut up.
Married that is great that worked for your family - dh's sister was given a meal out and a cake when she started. BUT we are all different and I would have been mortified if my parents had done that. Yes it is a normal bodily function but different people get embarrassed by different things. I take your point that op does need to talk to the school but I can really empathise with the dd of the op.
This has made me really angry. Schools should be empowering girls to feel good about their bodies and confident in the changes that take place in puberty. Not pretending periods don't happen to their pupils! The fact that this has forced her withdrawal from sports day is even worse, children should be enabled to join in physical activity and this stupid bag policy has created this problem.
As for all the creative suggestions - please, she shouldn't have to mess about with pads hidden inside extra pencil cases or sewn into the inside or her clothing! That is not how it works as an adult, thank god! We have our choice of protection in our bags or available in a vending machine in the toilets.
OP, could you approach a member of the PTA or parent council, anonymously if necessary? Or is there really no way you could even quietly mention this to a sensitive teacher?
I am also shocked and angered that it has not occurred to any teacher that this might be a problem. Surely some of them/their wives/their daughters started their periods around your dd's age?
When I had a period at work I always put my tampon in a pocket rather than take my bag to the loo. Everyone knows when a lady takes her bag to the toilet it means she has her period don't they?
As for all the creative suggestions - please, she shouldn't have to mess about with pads hidden inside extra pencil cases or sewn into the inside or her clothing
Of course she shouldn't have to but as the OP wont talk to the school because her daughter has asked her not to, and no other parent or teacher seems to have highlighted it, these are suggestions that would help the OPs daughter benefit from her education, rather than having days off every month or spending the whole day on one towel, which apparently doesn't matter when she has black clothing on
FWIW OP, whilst black tights and skirts might not show blood stains, they will do nothing to mask the metallic smell, and won't help your daughter if she sits on a paler coloured chair/bus seat, surely?
I said to dd, 11, who is very private about this type of thing... What would you have done today (it was sports day for her too, same rule about bags) if you'd had your period?'. She said god, I dunno, and I told her about this thread and her jaw dropped. 'that's just so wrong, to keep her off school!'. I said yeah but it's a tricky situation, isnt it, what do you think you'd do? And she said, well, you'd have to tell a teacher, wouldn't you?
I said, but you aren't always that keen to talk about it, are you? And she reminded me she had had to tell the swimming teacher in her very first week that she couldn't do swimming. She even got a bloody code in her planner for not having alternative PE kit that week! Point is, she's survived.
she said, well, you'd have to tell a teacher, wouldn't you?
It's lovely that your DD has the confidence and a sufficiently good relationship with the staff to know that she would be able to raise this subject with them.
I suspect that this doesn't apply to all 11 year olds.
It was two weeks into a new term at a new school with a member of staff shed never met... She didn't want to, but she knew she had to! She knows I wouldnt ring and and tell a lie saying she was ill when she wasn't, and she'd think that was a bad idea.
As I say, it wasn't a positive thing for her. The PE teacher punished her for not having brought alternative kit! But even after that, she was staggered that someone in the same position would be kept home from school.
If she had a skirt with a zipped pocket, then there would be no need to worry about it falling out.
marriedinwhite I don't have periods due to cerazette, and I take my bag to the loo ever time. Usually to brush my hair in the bathroom mirror. So no, not only women on their periods take their bags. How presumptuous.
She sounds like a lovely confident, resilient young lady, TheOriginal and she clearly has a very positive view of school.
I still think there are plenty of girls of this age who wouldn't cope so admirably.
I don't see why a young girl should have to go to the lengths of concealing sanitary items in her skirt, seriously!!??
The school should realise & remember periods are a part of everyday life and make provisions that allow young girls to slip off and change when needed without embarrassment or concealment.
Can she wear a small over the shoulder bag? What do kids with asthma do? The school should be a bit more flexible with this, girls at that age can have their confidence knocked very easily.
LadyFlumpalot - I love you that is fantastic!
Well said, married.
My two girls watch me change my towel if they walk in on me on the loo. I don't thrust it in their faces but they are not going to grow up feeling embarrassed about periods. It's a normal bodily function for approx 50% of the population.
If you don't like what is happening at the school then woman up, be a good mum and TALK to the school as so many have suggested.
So if your not going to do any of suggestions (towel in bra/knickers/little pocket/in a little bag in pencil case) nt going to phone the school - what ARE you going to do?
Another one here gobsmacked by all the work around suggestions of hidden pockets etc. Never given it much thought before but it seems wrong. School should have alternative policy or work around.
You only have to look at the inane comment about ladies taking handbags to loos (you notice this, really?) to understand the potential embarassment factor at age 11.
Sports Day meh. But don't let her be in a mess. That's so sad.
I don't understand why you're making so many excuses OP. There have been great suggestions and you've said no to every one. What do you actually want the school to do? Because I agree with whoever said it would be more obvious getting up in the middle of a class and humphing your entire bag to the loo with you.
And twinklyfingers it is exactly what adults have to do if in a no bag situation. At work I leave my bag in the department at 9 and don't go back till lunch. I can't take my bag on the wards so if I do need to take something with me (pens, money, tampon) they go in my pocket or if I'm wearing a dress I take a small pencil case. I don't see the issue with that. If children are going into the daughter's pencil case then all she needs to do is ask them not to, they should have more respect for people's belongings at 11 anyway.
Everyone knows when a lady takes her bag to the toilet it means she has her period don't they?
Do people really give it a moment's thought? If so, aren't they as likely to think that she's going to reapply her make-up or brush her hair?
Anyway, OP, I agree that you've been given plenty suggestions and advice here. Now it's over to you to speak to the school.
OP I am aghast... Really I am...
What I am aghast at is not the school but you OP
Schools get it wrong / don't consider what pupils might need and actually they rely on parents and pupils to discuss issues with them so they change things... If they refuse to work like that then that is a whole different matter.
Anyway my biggest issue is this OP - what you are doing is reinforcing the feelings of shame & embarrassment that your daughter feels about her period.
I was a midwife and worked in gynae for many years - I see the other side of this 'embarrassment' being reinforced - woman completely ashamed because they are bleeding or need examination.., No woman likes it but I am talking complete & utter shame that their female body is working in the way that it should.
Keeping her off school solved the issue that day and is fine but doing that and not finding a solution is you saying to your daughter 'Oh my god you are right we MUST keep your normal bodily function a complete secret as it has the power to ruin your world'
I get that you are both a bit embarrassed but someone suggested the school nurse getting involved and this is a good idea but will take a long time given that school is about to finish for the summer.
Whilst your daughter doesn't want you to talk to school the present situation is one that has potential to just continually reinforce the feeling of shame she has about her period. If she leaked other children probably would laugh and again that feeling is reinforced. What about residential school trips or activity days? Without solutions / coping mechanisms she will just learn that having a period stops you doing things.
Go to your daughters school and ask the questions - you can simply say you thinking ahead and your daughter hasn't started her periods yet but you wanted to prepare her.
And if school refuse to help - I would write to the Governors if I was you but then I have strong feelings about women loving and understanding their bodies
The child is 11. I doubt many 11 year olds are strong enough to carry off havving the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in their pants on sports day.
The problem needs to be resolved in whatever way the child is comfortable with and the ridiculous situation at school needs to be sorted.
I think you did the right thing, and i would be talking to the school about this too.
Im not a shy person, and its hard enough as a grown up picking up your bag at work and taking it to the loos, almost everytime someone will say something along the lines of ' where are you going' and thats working with grown up women... i usually resort to some kind to tampon up the sleave thing while pretending to look for something. bit rubbish in your mid 30's.
11 is still a child and yes its awful and embarassing, and the pencil case solution is just dire. Kids use/ take things out of/ run off with other kids pencil cases, dont think its just boys, girls will do this too, and to mock the poor girl.
The school either needs to put a provision in all girls bathrooms and or let bags be carried around.
As an adult I've often used a pocket of my clothing to put sanitary items in, I've never thought I was going to any lengths, how very strange!
The regulation skirt we had to wear at secondary school very handily came with a zipped pocket which meant you could carry such things around discreetly without embarrassment.
At secondary of course we carried bags between classes, but at primary we had all lessons in one room and you didn't usually carry your bag around. No rule to say you couldn't, but you'd have probably felt more conspicuous taking a school bag to the loo than having a discreet pocket in your skirt.
If children are going into the daughters pencil case all she needs to do is ask them not to.....really? If that's how it worked there wouldn't be any bullying in the world would there? Get real! Poor OPs daughter.
Agree it shouldn't be embarrassing, but it is for her. She's 11. You sound like a lovely mum OP.
god, i remember the awful pencil case thngs that used to go on, even at much older.....
everyone had those tin ones then, people who grab them off you and stab holes in them with compasses, and cover them with tipex and all sorts.
If anyone had a new one, or said to stop it then that would make them more of a target. and half the time it was their ' friends' doing it.
and this was at a ' naice' school. Kids are mean.
I think it's clear why the OP's DD is so embarrassed.
I remember doing gym in a leotard when I was on my period and another girl telling me in hushed tones that you coukd see my towel through it. My response was "so?". It's a perfectly normal bodily function.
Suzie-don't presume they won't grow up embarrassed. My mum and dad were the same and at 11 I was very private about periods and the thought of secret pockets and towels tucked into bras world have mortified me. And with regards to teasing etc there was NO solidarity or support between the girls whatsoever, they were the worst for teasing, going through bags etc,I can't remember anything from the boys at all.
watchforthesnail really? YOu are embarrassed to go to the toilet with your bag? I'll add this to my list of things I didn't know I should fret about before I came on MN.
OP - the school need to come up with a solution to this, but in the meantime you need to come up with a solution to help your daughter. There have been many practical solutions suggested and you need to take one or more of them on board. Even if the school start letting them take their bags between lessons (how does that even work - doesn't the form tutor have other lessons in his/her room? Where so the bags go?) your DD might need to change during a lesson. SHe won't want to take her whole bag then. It is definitely not 'alright' that she comes home in a mess, even if her dark uniform disguises it. You must help her find a short term solution then approach the school in some way to find a long term solution for her and all the others affected.
I take my bag to the loo so I can powder my nose
Having fallen victim to office kleptomaniacs a few times, I take my bag everywhere!
I'm coming round to the idea of a stitched-in, zipped, waistband pocket for DD. But it's important to make the school see sense, too, or it will just carry on making girls suffer
cardibach, im not embarrassed as such, there is no fretting, its just without fail, someone will always say something, because getting up and walking off with your bag seems to make people assume you are going somewhere. I dont really like the whole office knowing im on my period for some reason, im not embarrassed but i dont want it announced to everyone.
Christ, I always take my bag to the loo, do people just thnk I have insanely long periods or something?
The fact your daughter is coming home 'in a mess' because she doesn't have adequate facilities is not on, and it really isn't the huge deal its being made out to be. I know, she's 11, everything is a huge deal, but a quick word with the school and some no nonsense reassurance from her mum and she will be fine. In fact she'll be better than fine, she'll be clean and comfortable and happy.
Actually this has made me think, dd is only 5 however her primary has just extended its age range so she'll be there till 11. I must find out what they plan to do.
I think you've really done a disservice to your DD letting it get to the stage that she comes home from school "in a mess" every month. You should have insisted the school sort something out long before now. Poor girl.
what an awful situation
have you considered approaching any of the school governers? they might be able to make youe case for you if you are too embarassesd to approach the school dirctly
I remember well being the only 11 yr old in my class to have started her periods. I think you did the right thing by keeping her home as a one off for sports day.
Euphemia, she has only had 2 periods at school apart from this one. Both times I've sent her to school with sanpro in her bag and reminded her to change it during the day. It's only just come to light that the bag issue is the reason she hasn't. To start with I had assumed she had just forgotten. Why do people have to be so nasty on MN these days.
Do you have an older DD yourself? Helping your daughter to get used to managing periods doesn't just happen overnight you know. It's a learning process for both of us. DD is not ashamed about periods like another poster suggested. She is just gertting used to dealing with it.
I'm sure that the school are already aware that the OPs DD has started her periods; it would be almost impossible not to be aware that a DC in their care has bloodsoaked clothing, surely?
The health and hygiene implications of the OPs solution makes me cringe - blood transferring from trousers to chairs, onto hands, desks, pencil cases, lunchboxes etc. On a hot day not only will bacteria growth cause it to smell wherever it is left, but it will attract flies and other pests, too.
I'm not surprised there is embarrassment on the DCs part - expecting a child to bleed onto her clothing every month rather than providing suitable sanitary products is archaic.
I think the trouble if Framey that we have a lot of sympathy for your dd, but it doesn't sound like you're going to do anything proactive about it other that keep your dd off school.
Not being horrible but just frustrated.
You have an opportunity here to do all the girls in your dds school a massive favour!!
If you have only just found out about it it is a different matter, framey but now that you know, what are you going to about it? You can't keep her off school or allow her to soil herself every month in her dark clothing, but you say you aren't going to speak to the school or "faff around" with her pencilcase/clothing pockets...
Posters are naturally outraged at the situation your daughter is in and want to help, not being horrible, but you are rejecting all ideas and it just seems like you aren't going to do anything to help her or her contemporaries.
the language you're using is pretty horrible umlauf. Soiling herself? Sounds really horrid.
Perhaps my idea of a mess and yours are different maybe?
Blood on edges of pants not to the extent it was soaking into chairs.
For God's sake...what are you people like?
Also, why should my daughter have to be the one embarrased by me making a fuss at school? They've had the bag rule for years, so obviously no one else's Mum or Dad has made a stand about it!
But it's me who you choose to shoot down?
I am going to try to change this or at least point it out to the school but in a way that doesn't disadvantage my daughter thanks as she is my primary concern!
Prettypaperweight, you're exaggeration of the situation is laughable
OP, sorry it's a YABU from me & here's why:
The school won't change it's policy until it's challenged.
School sports day was the perfect opportunity for you to talk the school about the impracticalities of the policy, instead you have avoided the conversation.
It seems the school has made it almost impossible for a girl to deal with her period through the bags must stay in the classroom & no pockets in the school uniform.
Keeping your DD home sends the message that normal activities stop for periods. Your DD may be embarrassed about you raising this issue with the school but it must be done.
I once had a swimming class at school & the teacher, who was standing at the side of the pool didn't seem to be aware that her period had started and yes there were flies! (we were outside & it was a hot day)
the point is she hasn't ever been able to change it at school so by the end of the day she's in a mess really. Thats ok if you've got black tights and a black skirt on
Which is it, OP?
Either, it's a mess which is disguised by black clothes or its a barely noticeable leakage along her underwear line.
Either way YABU - if it's as bad as you made out previously, you are letting your DD down badly by not addressing it with the school, or you've kept your DD off school for something you are now downplaying.
Nasty?! Soiling oneself is the nicest possible way of saying it isn't it? I'd rather use terminology like that than go into graphic details or say describe her as a bloodsoaked mess like other posters have done who you havent jumped on! I've offered only support as I feel strongly that not only your daughter but ALL girls need proper sanitary facilities in all public places.
Its blood on the edges of pants now, but as I was trying to illustrate by sharing my own (that i havent told anyone before!) and friends experiences, how do you or your daughter know when she will have a heavier spell? Prevention of that by a little word to the school would be far less embarrassing than that happening, why don't you see that? Even as adults who have had periods for years we can still get surprised by an unusually heavy flow every now any then.
I can understand how you are very sensitive about this and of course, its your own daughter and its difficult with her starting so recently and of course SHE is embarrassed. She doesn't have to know if you send off a quick email/have a quiet word.
If any of the other parents were here I would also be saying, on their child's behalf AND yours, to contact the school. But they are not, YOU are here, you have a chance to her help her. You seem very defensive now, but hopefully you'll step in any do something (or at least one of the other parents will) BEFORE anything really embarrassing happens to her one of her friends. Its awful that the school haven't thought about this, but they haven't, you have, you can fix it so easily, you won't!
So it's the fault of other parents now rather than the school because they haven't raised it with the school on your behalf. So far you have said:
Your daughter cannot have a pocket with a zip
Cannot have a pocket sewn inside her skirt
Cannot have a pencil case with two compartments
Cannot attend sports day
Cannot put a spare sanny in her bra
You cannot raise with the school
You cannot raise via the school nurse
You cannot raise via the governors.
You are your daughter's mother - if you cannot do anything pro-active to help you daughter then frankly you do not have the right to insist anyone else helps her vicariously or otherwise. And yes I do have a dd, she's 15 and started her periods at 10 at primary school and I went in and met with the head to make sure there were arrangements in place to support the early starting girls and the school was immensely supportive and my dd never knew I had done that.
Soiling oneself is the nicest possible way of saying it isn't it?
Well, no because "soiling" generally refers to shit.
I am going to try to change this or at least point it out to the school but in a way that doesn't disadvantage my daughter thanks as she is my primary concern!
Yes, this sounds exactly like the OP is not going to do anything pro-active.
Not at all, it means dirty or stained.
As a teacher op I would like to reassure you that if you sent a letter into school or phoned or emailed, no other pupils would know that it was your dd whose mum had complained. I know for a fact that if this rule was in place at my school and someone wrote in we would just change it.
We wouldn't stand up in assembly and say "Framey's DD is on her period so you can all take your bags into the toilets".
We have to deal with period issues at school every now and again - from girls starting unexpectedly, forgetting to bring tampax to school, to soiling clothing. Each time it is dealt with sensitively and with minimal fuss.
I sympathise so much with your dd and you but YOU MUST contact the school.
No, it doesn't. it is the polite euphemism for shitting yourself.
Its really not, sorry, i disagree - its the terminology lingerie companies use when they have to refuse refunds for getting dirty knickers/swimwear back, even when the stain is very small and light coloured, ie not shit. There was a huge market research thing conducted at one of the bigger mail order lingerie companies to establish the best term to use and the consensus was for 'soiled' to be the most polite adjective. Stained was also suggested but soiled was generally accepted to be less offensive! (I would out myself with more details sorry).
Shop soiled clothing - make up stains, soiled nappies - poo. Its about context. The context here is blood and the OP knows that. The poster above me used it in the context of periods too, it doesn't look at all like she was suggesting children are shitting themselves. Maybe out of context yes, but there is a clear context here.
I have only heard soiling used in reference to shit.
OP, I can understand feeling like why should you have to be the one that deals with the school about this. But it may be that other parents have spoken to the school and they and their daughters now have appropriate and discreet ways of dealin with this.
Bit shit if they have and they haven't told girls who may e about to start what the arrangements are, but it is possible.
I used to have a Saturday job in M&S. We used to put labels on stuff for the reduced rail and write reduced because "soiled" - it meant there was a mark on an item, ie, a pen mark or a bit of lippy. Anything relating to poo or period stains would have been destroyed. So I think Umlauf is right.
I would go to the school and mention it to the school nurse or the headteacher and ask them to support her whilst she is learning to cope with her periods.
I think you have to put her feelings on the teachers or school nurse to one side and tell them. So that she has the support/facilities in place to cope.
I would try to encourage her to use tampons the little ones with out the applicator so she could pop one in her hand when she needs to change at break or lunchtime.
One more practical suggestion, which might help OP to feel more confident in talking to the school.
OP you don't have to say 'My daughter is unable to change her sanitary towel because of your school rules'. You can say 'I was talking with my mummy friends about your school rule re bags in classrooms, and we figured out that it would be really difficult for any pupils having periods - how would they manage it?' You could even hint that you knew another mother (no name given) had this issue and you were raising it on her behalf, because other daughter was too shy to allow own mother to raise it. But don't let them fob you off.
Framey, I'm sorry this has descended into hyperbolic attacks on you. I disagree about your reading of the word 'soiled' but I understand why you're taking offence easily at this point.
Going back to what should be obvious by now: You need a two-pronged approach, don't you? Happy workarounds for DD, such as closed and hidden pockets, and proactively raising the issue with the school.
All the best to you both
What a shame for your daughter, it's bad enough when she is the first of her friends to start. I would contact the school on Monday, is there a secretary you could speak to? The school surely have been through this previously, if it gets sorted now you will be doing all the girls behind her a massive favour.
It's one of the reasons I'm glad I've only got boys!!
OP why do you think your daughter is going to be disadvantaged by you speaking to the school about this?
All you have to do is phone and have a 5 minute conversation to make them aware of the issue.
What do you think they are going to do, hold an assembly to tell everybody that your daughter has started her period?
I've changed my mind from when I commented at the start - YABU.
That is a ridiculous rule.
Keep her off.
Saying something is soiled is different to saying someone has soiled themselves.
Soiled goods, I'd agree with, but it isn't really appropriate in this context.
But anyway, it's by the by, really.
I think keeping her off sends her the message when things get a little bit tough, you give up.
I'd tell her she has to go, sympathise with her, but at the end of the day she needs to speak to a teacher she feels comfortable with, or agree to let you, and make an arrangement. Can't she take a discreet pencil case, jumper which does have a pocket or purse?
It is really bad school haven't thought of this. On second thoughts, how long does sports day last- all day? or just a morning?
Could she work around it if it isn't all day and change just before, then straight after?
My dd would die with embarrassment as well. Keep her off this time.
Write a letter anonymously together with dd, and explain that you haven't signed your name for the same reason you are writing the letter ie that you want to stop the extreme embarrassment that dd is experiencing.
Write an anonymous letter to the school the OP entrusts the care of her DD to every day? Really?
The OP is either too embarrassed herself to deal with this, in which case she's passing that on to her DD, or the school have such a draconian approach that the OP fears that they will single her DD out should she dare to seek to resolve this issue. Why on earth would any parent want their DC in such a suppressive environment?
I'm a Ta and I'd be mortified if one of my girls didn't feel they could come and ask for help in this situation.
I'm in a Primary and we deal with it better than her school.
Framey got the gist of the thread.
Im absolutely no way in any form would I compromise my daughters confidence with regards to her period, of which she cannot help, and force her into a potentially humiliating sutuation.
At the very start of the thread, someone idiotically suggested it would be 'sending her a bad message'.
Sure, telling an 11 year old to stop fretting about her WHOLE SCHOOL potentially seeing her walking away with a stained bottom is the best message to get to her. For fucks sake. Really?
Im future when she is on, Id make sure she has a uniform with pockets because it sounds rotten that its an issue for her each month.
But of course the PE kit is very different.
I had horrifically heavy periods as a child (and we need to remember she is just a child) and suffered at PE time the worst.
Luckily for me, I had a lovely mum like you that was very much in my side, and realised it was traumatic and that I didnt need a 'certain message' sent to me (again, seriously?! I feel sorry for that posters daughter - no doubt they have sons).
The school isn't providing ways for girls to change sanitary items, the school is wrong, but so are you op by refusing to discuss the problem with them.
This won't be solved if you don't go to the school, which means your poor dd will either miss out on a lot of school or will quite simply be embarrassed about a normal bodily function
The school isn't providing ways for girls to change sanitary items
This, essentially, is the crux of the problem. If you can solve this, then it will solve the problem.
It is no doubt simply a clumsy oversight rather than malicious thinking and a word with the school will undoubtedly solve it immediately. I really don't see why it's so hard.
I really sympathise, however one phone call to the school and this matter could be address pretty quickly.
In the short term why not get a teacher / nurses to hold a few bits for her. Then get the school to properly address it after sports day.
If she's soaking through she needs a heavier weight pad and/or to change it more frequent. The purple always ones are much much better are soaking up heavy periods than most.
I do think by keeping her of school you are demonising a quite normal process. Growing up it was quite normal to keep a spare in a pencil case or a small pocket. It was not normal to keep a girl off school for her period. FWF there is no way a middle doesn't have other girls who have already started there period.
I only said about doing it anonymously because the ops daughter has said she does not want her mother to contact the school. Obviously the school does need to be told. It would be best if mum can contact the school directly, but if DD is adamant that she doesn't want that, then writing it together and sending it without a name on, explaining that this is because it is such an embarrassing subject for DD, is the only option left.
IMO the school should be told one way or another. You are failing DD and all the girls if you just leave this issue.
I phoned school and spoke to head of year and head teacher. I was galvanised into action by DD coming home distressed because all the loos had been locked at end of school....! Unbelievable. These toilet rules have become draconian.
Anyway we came to a solution eventually, after the HT kept telling me that DD could 'just ask a member of staff for assistance at any time'.
I had to spell out that DD was not keen about talking to teachers about periods so she said that DD could leave her spare sanitary towel in the loo attached to the medical room at the start of school when she still has her bag. And that she can use that loo any time.
DD seems happy with that arrangement but she went nuts with me when she found out I'd phoned school...
The locked the loos???!!!
Glad to hear you arrived at a solution that works for DD What on earth is the head teacher on? Have they met any girls before??
Contact school nurse tomorrow, and safeguatding. You have to escalate this. It's outtageous!
Their so called arrangements are ridiculous. They really think that any girl having a period should have a quiet word with a teacher every time she needs to change a sanitary towel or should use the medical room loo? Is it a boys' school?! They need to sort out a proper arrangement, such as sanitary towels in the girls toilets.
I got my first period at 8 years old. i was in primary school and i had to use the staff toilets due to there being no sanitary bins in the girls toilets.
I had a bumbag - 1993. i was once waiting for dinner and needed to go to the toilet and people asking why i had the bumbag, i did have my spray in there for asthma but it made me feel very embarrassed.
Did you ask the HT what the other girls are expected to do? Is the HT male? Perhaps you could ask the parent governor to raise it. I think you said it was a middle school, I am amazed this hasn't been raised before. Do you live in the back of beyond?
God, do they lack complete common sense or something?
What's the reasoning behind their toilet rules? There will be a root cause to this (bullying, vandalism etc) and because they're fixated on that they're not thinking rationally. Like locking toilets and not letting menstruating girls use them without embarrassment.
She cannot be the only pupil in the school who has started her periods. What are the others doing?
OP well done for ringing!
This is utterly ridiculous - the HeadTeacher's rules, I mean. I think 50Bales is right, you need to escalate this. What are all the other poor girls doing? Are there no other parents who are concerned about this?
That is outrageous, I can't believe the schools suggestion was to ask a member of staff for assistance! In class?! What are they on!
Thank god you called though as it sounds like the other girls already have secret arrangements in place, but its nuts that the school won't just lift the stupid rule. Why is even in place, do they think students will go in there smoking or something? I agree with 50bales, safeguarding needs to be out in place here. Well done for ringing OP.
Well done OP but I think this needs a gentle letter. Just explain what your daughter has faced and how hjard you have found it to deal with and note that others might feel the same. Does your dd have any friends in a similar boat whose mums you could join forces with?
This is ridiculous. Yes, they've made arrangements for your DD now, but what about every other poor girl who has to do things in secret or who haven't stared yet and will have to go through what your DD has.
By the end of year 8, virtually every girl will be having periods. This is totally unacceptable. Write a letter to the LEA and copy it to the head and governors. It is not acceptable at all. Someone needs to do something. You don't need to tell DD you are escalating it. Let her think it's over now.
>DD seems happy with that arrangement but she went nuts with me when she found out I'd phoned school...
You were absolutely right to phone, well done! - how else did your DD think there would ever be a solution, telepathy? Please try to get her to understand that while its completely normal for girls to be shy about their periods, it's a simple bodily function function that all healthy women do, and it's nothing to be ashamed of.
Hopefully some of her pals will start soon and then she'll be the wise woman of the group who knows what to do!
So please you have something sorted for your DD. What a relief for her, even if she did freak!
However this surely is only a short term solution? I agree that you should escalate this ridiculous notion of locking loos and the basic lack of common sense of being applied to the loo's in general to the board of governors cc head teacher, school nurse and possibly the head of the PTA.
Your dds school sounds insane and do they seriously expect a child to explain to a teacher every time they have their period?!
It is ridiculous.
It sounds like something out of 1913 not 2013!!
How about making girls feel confident about their bodies and independent in managing their own periods, ffs its not rocket science!!
Sounds like the head teacher would like a purdah block next to the medical room
I agree with the general opinion. Even as a grown woman with thankfully easy-to-manage periods, the thought of not being able to access a toilet whenever I need to makes me shudder! Also, perhaps a silly question, but what would happen if someone needed to vomit or had diarrhoea when the toilets were locked?! It just seems insane.
Yes apparently there was vandalism last week and 100s of pounds of damage were done.
So the loos are locked apart from at break and lunch. So that means after school time when they've just had 2 hours of lessons there are no loos available. Unless you ask a teacher.
DP said soon they will have someone wetting themselves.
Our toilets are locked but children can ask at reception for key - they sign for the key so easy to see who is responsible for damage.
In my experience, girls are generally not bothered about talking about periods - usually it is a case of TMI.
If your daughter has heavy periods, make an appointment with her form tutor or head of year and ask for a toilet pass for her - there is usually a designated loo by first aid.
Not sure if you ever sorted the bag issue, but if I'm ever on an activity where I can't take a bag I stuff one in my bra.
I'm glad I went to school hundreds of years ago and not now! I've never had the strongest bladder and, while I had a really late onset (prob due to anorexia,) about half the class was menstruating by 12yo. You just put your hand up to be excused to the loo and there were Dr White's <gimmer> machines, bins and incinerators.
Irrelevant to this thread but, when I finally did get a period in the middle of double Spanish, the rest of the class clocked my blood-soaked skirt and cheered
Good on you Framey for talking to the school about this, you are a cheerleader for girls and womens rights and a good role model!
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