A few weeks ago, I wrote about a school district banning swings because apparently swings are silent killers on school playgrounds. At the time, I thought to myself, it can’t possibly get more ridiculous than that!
And then, I read about a school in Great Britain that has decided bathroom breaks are far too risky for kids. The Mirror reports:
Two secondary schools have banned pupils from using toilets during lessons for health and safety reasons.
Staff at Westlands School and Sittingbourne Community College in Kent lock the facilities and said allowing pupils to use them unsupervised would breach “safeguarding” rules.
From this term, students must produce a doctor’s note about a relevant medical condition or go to the nurse’s office to request permission during lessons.
Talk about safety gone mad! The Mirror also interviewed an angry mother whose child was subjected to an interrogation before being allowed to relieve himself:
Clare Stevens, whose stepson Kieran is in Year 8 at Westlands, only heard about the new rule when he came home and said he was initially denied permission to go to the toilet.
She said: “The nurse’s office is a 10- to 15-minute walk to the other side of the building, and all the toilets are locked on the way there.
“When he got there the nurse questioned him about why he had to go.”
Now, I don’t know about your kids, but I’m fairly certain my 3, 6 and 7 year old wouldn’t make it to the bathroom in time if they needed to go through that sort of process. And let’s take a moment to consider what’s more damaging to a child's health and safety: 1. letting them risk going to the bathroom when they need to, 2. having an accident in front of their peers, or 3. developing an infection from holding it too long.
Common sense is the first casualty of alarmism. Westlands School is a perfect example of this rule.