Sexism towards girls in a school(91 Posts)
The shorts/skorts thing is the same at our school: both sexes are meant to change back to uniform before leaving, but if it's a late fixture they don't have to, but are expected to put on trackie bottoms.
No school introduces a toilet regime such as you describe unless they have had a bullying or vandalism problem, or possibly drugs. That means that allowing free access during lesson time isn't going to happen. And by secondary school age, unless there is medical need, pupils (and teachers, come to that) are easily able to hang on until breaks.
It is different for girls dealing with the start of periods. What would you suggest a solution should look like, assuming that the issues which led to locking the loos are valid concerns?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
How is it sexism? Presumably there's female teachers who at some point during the month will have to change sanitary protection. I'm pretty sure they can manage break and lunchtimes.
A request for the medical room if a girl starts unexpectedly is more likely to be allowed than multiple requests for the toilet every lesson.
I'm on your side OP. I find the locking of school toilets shocking. I think it is a lazy solution for schools that are poorly managed. It's harsh and demeaning on young women just getting to grips with having periods which may be irregular etc.
Boys can pee themselves as well OP. I think that the school rules you describe are a bit draconian and may be badly thought out, but apart from the PE teacher's comment I can't see deliberate sexism.
Either sex can be incontinent; only women have periods.
I think the issue is that the girls (and only the girls) may unexpectedly get their period, or unexpectedly have a heavier than normal period. The comparison to adult teachers is not valid, as if absolutely necessary a teacher could ask a TA or another member of staff to supervise the room for a few minutes. (I have done this when I've been unexpectedly unwell) For the girls to have to ask and explain why each time is humiliating. I can't believe that a secondary school can lock all the toilets during lesson time, it seems a very bad way to address issues of vandalism or whatever. They must have a strategy for those with continence issues, and toilets available for them to access, surely?
I'm with you OP, children should be able to go to the loo when they need to, no questions asked.
The 'distracting' comments are shocking too. The children should be able to dress comfortably without worrying about whether someone finds their legs attractive or not.
I find that shocking OP.
No one should need special permission to go and deal with a period. If they have a bullying/vandalism problem they need to deal with it without making teenage girls run the risk of leakage etc.
These girls are just learning to deal with a significant practical issue - headteacher needs a lesson in female biology, flooding, leaking and all associated grimness.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Why does the head teacher allow part of the uniform to be 'distracting'? Why not change the skorts to something different. And so what if the boys look, I bet they look at more than just legs in their own time with the internet! The girls no doubt look at the boys (or girls looking at girls/boys looking at boys if that's the case).
They have hall passes in the states, maybe they should enforce that in UK. (but then they would have to pay for hall monitors too :p unlikely!). If only school classrooms were ensuite.
The typical teen is well able to manage without the loo for the length blocks of lessons.
But there should be adequate access to toilets for those with medical requirements, and this does need to extent to include those who need to deal with periods (especially as adolescents may not be regular, nor experienced in anticipating how long a tampon/pad will last).
OP: I suggest you start by establishing what exactly it was that led to the loos being locked, and if it is indeed still an issue. It's surprisingly easy for lazy thinking to mean that something that was needed in one set of circumstances just persists, even when things have changed.
Can you get some of the other mums involved? Start a PTA petition? Suggest the school has CCTV for corridors outside restrooms to control vandalism bullying - wouldn't cost much in the long run.
I don't know why schools treat children's bathroom/toilet issues so poorly. Even primary schools can be horrid. I remember they had tracing paper TP instead of tissue?!
The perfect situation would be to say to all one thousand teenagers at school that whenever they fancied going to the toilet they could. And that all one thousand would think that this should be only used when necessary and that nobody would abuse it, that they would quietly leave for 2 mins at an appropriate moment and then slip back in.
The reality is that kids being told they can go whenever they need to means that, unless you are in a school with an exceptionally good learning ethos, literally dozens and dozens of them would be leaving the classroom and meeting up and having a chat or smoking etc etc. Why bother going st break time when you can get out of Physics and go? Many at a school I used to work at would spend most of their break time having a fag in the bushes, returning when the bell went and demanding to go to the toilet. They would then arrive 10 mins late for a lesson but it was their human right, so that was that. It's utterly utterly disastrous for learning. We used to have maybe 5 or 6 kids whose parents would write a note in their planners saying they had bladder problems (fair enough, we believe what parents say). But these kids would always have the problem in particular lessons. Whenever it was a lesson they enjoyed or a trip somewhere, it was never an issue. Some would go 3 or more times a day (on top of opportunities to go before school, at break, at lunch etc).
Schools generally have no more than 2 hours between breaks. Unless there is a medical issue, they can wait. I say to them that they can go to the toilet but that they need to make up learning time missed. Suddenly 98% don't need to go at all anymore. And the 2% who do, fair enough.
OP I would genuinely advise you work in an average school with 1000 teenagers and then come back and tell us that there should be no policy or limits at all.
Aaw no, you sound like you are trying to do the right thing by your daughter. I hope something gets sorted out. It wont be long before more girls complain to their parents about it. Maybe some of the dads will get involved too, as well as other moms. If the head is sexist, he will probably make a change if the complaint comes from male..
Oh gosh, aged 13 I remember getting random gushes of discharge that would have left me uncomfortable sitting in a light pad or with a wet skirt if I hadn't been allowed free access to the toilet. And that's before you add in periods.
Same with perspiration actually, some days I'd need to wipe with tissue till dry then reapply mitchum, or spend the rest of the day with a drying off and potentially smelling uniform. Male and female issue, I accept.
OP's school policy would have made puberty even worse.
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