Mum lashes out at school policy after daughter has ‘period accidents’
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A mother has lashed out at her daughter’s school for a policy that refuses to let her go to the toilet during lesson time. The woman says her daughter, who is in Year 9 at St James’ Catholic High School in Cheadle Hulme, has had a number of period accidents in class because teachers have refused her request to go to the toilet. She says only those with a medical condition can be given a toilet pass allowing them to go but believes the school should be more understanding of the issues young girls face, especially when most of them are only just adjusting to their menstrual cycles.
On one occasion, she said her 14-year-old daughter bled onto the chair in class after she was caught out and refused permission to go.
Another time, she was given boys’ trousers to wear after an accident, which made her “feel even more uncomfortable”.
The mum, who did not want to be identified to protect her daughter, said she has been fighting the school’s policy for a long time and after the same thing happened last week, she is refusing to send her daughter back until the matter is resolved.
She told MEN: “It’s not healthy anyway making children wait for what can sometimes be a couple of hours. But also girls get their periods and on several occasions, my daughter has had accidents because she’s not been allowed to go.
“I’m absolutely fed up with my daughter being put in this situation. I’ve spoken to her doctor about it who said they don’t consider being female a medical condition and they’re willing to write to the school to say they don’t agree with the policy.”
The mum-of-two, from Heald Green, says the Stockport school clearly has the policy in place to “control behaviour” and prevent pupils from deliberately missing lesson time, but says it’s “putting children’s health at risk”.
“It’s physical and mental harm,” she said. “My daughter already struggles to make friends and there have been issues, but if she has an accident in class, this just makes things 10 times worse.
“It seems that everybody I speak to outside of education is shocked and can’t believe they would do this to children, but everyone I speak to from within a school setting is just OK with it.
“I understand they have to control behaviour, but as a teacher they should be able to read the signals and notice patterns of misbehaviour and those requesting multiple visits. Common sense is completely out of the window with this blanket ban.”
The 35-year-old said the toilet ban has made her daughter anxious about attending school each time she starts her period.
After ringing school last week to explain that the youngster was having a heavy period and may need to visit the toilet during class time, she was given a toilet pass for the day, but her mum says that is not the answer.
“They eventually gave her a pass but made it clear she would not be getting another one,” she said. “But it shouldn’t be like this at all.
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“It bothers me because if my daughter is suffering with this, there has got to be other girls suffering too and it’s not acceptable. If she puts her hand up and says ‘miss I need to go’ then she should be able to go.
“It’s a difficult age anyway and most kids just want to be invisible, not having to deal with something like this that makes them stand out in front of everyone. It’s embarrassing for young girls to be put on the spot.
“They are making girls feel uncomfortable about something that is completely natural and they shouldn’t be singled out for it.”
A spokesperson for the school said: “The school can confirm that it is currently working to resolve a parental concern.”
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