Field Trip Frenzy! Mad Mom Vents to Media

Hi Readers — Our definition of a good parent these days seems to be one who sees every incident as upsetting — possibly even devastating — to his/her child, and is eager to tell the press about it. Latest case in point? This sffehdbbkn
story, from the Chicago Sun-Times,
about a 6-year-old who told his mom he got “locked in jail” on a field trip. The mom sounds livid.

Note, please: This was a field trip to the local precinct, not a 2 a.m. visit by the secret police. And the boy wasn’t locked up. And it shouldn’t be a big deal because it’s NOT a big deal. Why do we see everything through “OMG!” lenses, when it comes to kids? – L.

Now THIS boy really was locked up -- for a month -- for stealing two rabbits. That's different from a school field trip!


108 Responses to Field Trip Frenzy! Mad Mom Vents to Media

  1. Cara Dearman (@thinkc) April 21, 2012 at 3:14 am #

    Wow. I remember going on a field trip in elementary school to the local police station. They locked us all in the drunk tank (no drunks were in it at the time, and it was clean, in case you were wondering). I recall that we all thought that this was about the coolest thing that had ever happened to us.

  2. Jacqueline April 21, 2012 at 3:22 am #

    Over reaction, yes. That being said, I would be a little bothered if the school told me they were taking my child one place and took him somewhere else. As a high schooler out with friends on my own, my parents rule was I had to call when we changed locations.

  3. Emily April 21, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    I think it’s fine for the school to take the kids on a field trip to the police station, but if they were doing that, why did they tell the parents that they were taking the kids to the public library? I don’t see a problem with the trip in and of itself, but if I was a parent, and that was my kid, I’d probably be on the phone with the school asking that question–why say one thing, and then do another?

  4. skl1 April 21, 2012 at 3:29 am #

    I heard they said public library AND village hall or some such. And the jail was in the village hall. It is not unusual in small towns. So the mom was not apprised of the minute details of the trip – is that so unusual?

    That mom needs to get a grip. My kids would have loved that!! So would I as a kid.

  5. Donna April 21, 2012 at 3:33 am #

    I don’t have a problem with kids taking a field trip to the jail. I would have thought that fun as a kid, including be locked in a cell. I’ve voluntarily toured prisons – including death row – as an adult and my 6 year old has already spent time in jails, juvenile detention centers and shelters while at work with me. But I’ve chosen a profession that requires spending much time in jails so maybe I’m not the best judge.

    I do have a problem with the parents being told that the kids were going on a field trip to the library and then the school taking them to a jail. If you want to go to the jail, tell the parents you are going to the jail! I would question any field trips after this because where the permission slip says they were going may not be where they are truly going. Odds are I wouldn’t care either way but this whole thing seems shady. I wonder if mom would have cared about the boy being locked in a cell if she hadn’t expected a trip to the library.

    I also wonder why this is fodder for the media at all.

  6. Donna April 21, 2012 at 3:38 am #

    If the jail was in the Village Hall then the mother is an idiot for not anticipating they’d stop by. I didn’t get that impression though. I got the impression from the article that the police station is separate from Library and Village Hall but I could definitely be wrong.

  7. Susanna King (@superflippy) April 21, 2012 at 3:45 am #

    This reminds me of what happened here recently. A middle schooler told his mom the teacher read them pornographic material about prostitutes. The teacher was suspended and the police notified. Turns out, the teacher read “Ender’s Game” to the class. Oops.

  8. Jen Connelly April 21, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    Oy. Why do people freak out about every little thing? Nevermind kindergarteners are prone to misunderstanding adults and exaggerating events. I have a 6yo myself and the stories she tells me…

    Hillside, IL is a small town. It’s not like they were in Chicago where the police stations are always bustling. According to the commenters at the Sun-Times article the police station is inside the Village Hall which is next to the Library. Well, if the field trip included the Village Hall then it’s easy to see how they ended up at the police station. I’m sure the kids loved it (mine would).

  9. Michelle April 21, 2012 at 4:05 am #

    I agree that *if* the jail was not part of the Village Hall (which is where they said they were going along with the library), then she has a reason to be upset. However, I can’t see anything wrong with a trip to the jail in and of itself, even if they did let the kids go into a cell (which they didn’t).

    I found this part amusing:
    “The story comes just two days after a 6-year-old girl in Georgia was handcuffed and detained by police after an alleged ‘tantrum.'”

    Yeah, because that’s even remotely the same.

  10. Dulcie April 21, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    The article said that the permission slip signed by the parents said they were going to visit the library AND the village hall, which includes the police department. (one of the commenters on the original article Googled the town and discovered they’re definitely in the same building) If the parent had read the slip and known anything about the village they live in, they would have known that.

    I remember touring the police station and the hospital in elementary school and having a wonderful time. Why shouldn’t kids learn how their community works. As a high schooler, we also toured city hall and the jail. As an unexpected benefit that sent tongues wagging, we also got to observe one of our trouble-making classmates go up before the judge to answer for some crime he had a part in. Had to be pretty embarrassing for the kid involved, but maybe it made him reconsider the next time he had the opportunity for mayhem.

  11. skl1 April 21, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    Last night or this morning, I saw another article about a mom’s outrage over her 6yo KG student. Not sure why this story did not go viral like the others.

    It’s sad, but not only for the obvious reason.

    The little girl had diarrhea and messed herself. According to the mom, they left her in her mess way too long and didn’t even try to clean her up while the mom brought a change of clothes.

    My thought about that is, who in this day and age would dare to disrobe someone else’s child and touch her in the places involved in a diarrhea accident? Is it worse to be accused of being heartless or of being a child molester?

  12. Donna April 21, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    @skl1 – Why would anyone at the school need to disrobe the child and touch her at all? A kindergarten student is more than capable of changing her own clothes and somewhat cleaning herself up – at least as much as could be done in a school restroom. That would be somewhat better than sitting in full-on diarrhea until mom got there. My kid’s American school had a box of clothes to give out for situtations like these but all schools may not.

  13. pentamom April 21, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    “Is it worse to be accused of being heartless or of being a child molester?”

    Practically speaking, if you’re accused of being a heartless KG teacher, you might lose your job. If you’re accused of being a child-molesting KG teacher, you might never work again.

  14. pentamom April 21, 2012 at 4:54 am #

    Donna, good point — but if “they didn’t even try to clean her up when the Mom brought a change of clothes” was an issue, maybe the child did need help for some reason? Otherwise that point couldn’t even have been raised — it would have been bad to delay doing anything until then, but at that point they could have just handed her the clean clothing, unless something else was going on (such as some kind of disability.)

  15. Violet April 21, 2012 at 4:55 am #

    SKL1: I don’t care what the teacher might have been accused of, she is a sick person and should be fired. The diarrhea incident is just one small part of the larger story: the focus on testing to the detriment of good teaching and common sense. The child was left in her own shit because the teacher was giving a pretend test. There is plenty of outrage among those of us concerned about testing, which may also be viewed as a free-range issue. Children are being denied the opportunity to explore, play, read, learn, sing, dance, sleep, run, exercise, socialize, experiment, daydream, etc. because their lives are focused on testing.

  16. pentamom April 21, 2012 at 4:58 am #

    For those who are saying that it’s a problem that they were taken somewhere other than where the parents were told they were going to be — even if that’s the case (and it’s questionable based on information in the article), that doesn’t seem to be the limit of what the Mom is upset about. She seems to be worked up at the very idea of the kids being taken to a jail and put behind a locked door. She even seems to find it concerning that they showed the kids a gun with a holster, a vest, and an electronic bracelet.

    Cara Dearman’s right — this kind of thing used to be a cool experience for the kids. Now it’s something to get upset about.

  17. Violet April 21, 2012 at 4:58 am #

    I think most children would need help getting slimy runny poop from their butts, and back and whatever might be running down their thighs. Seriously, if I had shit my pants while in a meeting at work, I might be so upset that I would welcome help from a girlfriend in the restroom.

  18. skl1 April 21, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    The kid’s mom wasn’t complaining about the kid not cleaning herself up, but about the school personnel not cleaning her up. It would be hard for a 6yo to do a proper job on diarrhea. Honestly, trying would probably make it worse.

    I don’t disagree that it’s part of a whole F-d up story, but even if the “testing” aspect were taken out of it, would the outcome be all that different? Little kids have accidents in school. Are teachers (or other school personnel) allowed to touch their bodies afterwards or not? Are the teachers allowed to leave the class “alone” to help a child in this predicament? What are the policies, and do they make it realistically possible to do other than leave the child to fend for herself until her mom arrives?

  19. Janet April 21, 2012 at 5:12 am #

    I think the Mom is right to be upset because they took him somewhere else. I wouldn’t have thought it was a big deal, but the school does not have the right to take the kids on a field trip that the parent doesn’t know about.

  20. Donna April 21, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    pentamom – I didn’t read the article skl1 is referencing but I understood the complaint to be that they didn’t clean the child up while they were waiting for the mother not that they didn’t even clean her up after mom brought the clothes (why wouldn’t the mother do it at that point?). Depending on the situation, it could take awhile for mom to get clean clothes to the school. If the school wouldn’t let her change, my daughter would probably be sitting in poo for at least an hour before I could get from work to home to school. Handing her clothes and letting her make some attempt at clean up would be better than that.

  21. Selby April 21, 2012 at 5:28 am #

    The parents don’t have the right to get upset about a permission slip they didn’t bother to read….

  22. Donna April 21, 2012 at 5:34 am #

    Having now read the report, I’d be so LIVID that my child would be removed from that classroom. The mother is not complaining at all about the school not cleaning up her daughter. She is complaining because (a) the teacher refused to let the child go to the restroom during the practice test; (b) the child then used the bathroom on herself; (c) the child was then forced to FINISH THE TEST in her own shit before mom was even called; (d) the child was then not allowed to leave the classroom to clean up while waiting 20 minutes for mom; (e) the teacher DID refuse to make any attempt to let the child clean up and instead just gave her a plastic bag to wrap around herself.

  23. Liz April 21, 2012 at 5:35 am #

    Oh for the love of Peter Rabbit! Hillside is not Cabrini Green, folks. It’s not like they clanged the doors on the munchkins and went & got coffee and donuts for an hour while the drunks entertained the kiddos.

    I’d love to see what some of these parents would do with my then-5-year-old told her father that she was “nekky on TV”.

    Fortunately, he had the common sense to call me (we’re divorced) and ask about it before calling the police or FBI or DCFS.

    We had done a breast cancer walk the morning of Mother’s Day (5 months earlier!), which started out chilly but warmed up quite a bit by the time we got to the 1K mark. We happened to be a few feet away from the TV cameras when we paused for a break and I wanted to take off some of the layers she had started out with. Her shirts got tangled up and there was a momentary flash of skin, which prompted Uncle or Grandma or someone to make a funny comment about her being “nekky on TV”.

    What prompted her to blurt that out 5 months later to her dad — who knows? But I could have very well ended up a headline before it was sorted out.

    Honestly, parents manage to leave their children with teachers every single day and no one dies, but the day they leave the purified air of the school building is the day the teacher’s going to take leave of her senses and NOT supervise her class in an entirely appropriate and careful manner?! Seriously?!

    How do people FUNCTION anymore?

  24. Calissa April 21, 2012 at 5:36 am #

    um, didn’t she have to sign a permission slip? Did she not read it? If the school indeed took the kids to someplace other than where the permission slip said they were going, then that’s a problem. I think it’s interesting that no one is talking to the school in this article.

    The “scared straight” thing made me laugh–does this mother/reporter not know any kindergarten aged kids, especially boys? I know three boys that age, and one wants to be a firefighter when he grows up, another other wants to be a cop. Why wouldn’t the school take kids that age to the police station, when it’s clearly something that would interest them?

    Also: My five year old nephew would think it was the coolest thing ever to get locked up in jail.

  25. Violet April 21, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    Yes, Donna!!!The whole thing really is about the test sickness. Only a truly sick person would force a child to poop herself over a pretend test. If someone takes on the responsibility of caring for five-year-olds, that includes making sure that they get cleaned up after vomiting or defecating.

  26. Kimberly April 21, 2012 at 5:57 am #

    Why should a teacher have to help a school aged kid clean diarrhea off herself? It has viruses in it, which means the teacher will most likely get sick herself and have to miss school. Sorry, but as a teacher, while I care about kids, I am not risking my own health to clean a child’s butt. It would probably make me vomit anyway b/c I have a very acute sense of smell. I can’t even stand to smell my own stuff. Plus, if the teacher did help, is the child supposed to stand there naked until her mom arrives with clothes? You wouldn’t want to put her dirty clothes back on her after you cleaned her. Standing there naked isn’t exactly practical. The child will survive a bit of a rash on her behind. I won’t kill her or even do much physical harm.

  27. Kimberly April 21, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    “Having now read the report, I’d be so LIVID that my child would be removed from that classroom. The mother is not complaining at all about the school not cleaning up her daughter. She is complaining because (a) the teacher refused to let the child go to the restroom during the practice test; (b) the child then used the bathroom on herself; (c) the child was then forced to FINISH THE TEST in her own shit before mom was even called; (d) the child was then not allowed to leave the classroom to clean up while waiting 20 minutes for mom; (e) the teacher DID refuse to make any attempt to let the child clean up and instead just gave her a plastic bag to wrap around herself.”

    Thanks for sharing the full facts. That is freaking sick. That teacher should be fired.

  28. Stephanie April 21, 2012 at 6:04 am #

    It sounds to me as though the permission slip didn’t specifically mention the police station, but it was a reasonable stop considering that it was in one of the buildings listed.

    I can’t imagine a kindergartener being upset much over checking out a jail cell. They do exaggerate a lot at that age, and if they said something about being locked in the cell (true or not) and then the mom got upset, I’d imagine the kid would get upset at that point too, just from his mother’s reaction.

    I can even see being a bit upset if you don’t realize that touring that building would include the police station, but once I knew it was all a part of the same building, it wouldn’t be an issue. They were where they had permission to be, even if the mom didn’t realize it on signing the permission slip. Possibly the school could have given more detailed information about the parts of the field trip, possibly the mom simply missed that part.

  29. April F. April 21, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    I remember doing this as a girl scout. They took is to our town police station and let us into the interview room to see the double sided glass and then into a holding cell. I thought it was really cool and not at all traumatizing. Besides, didn’t she sign the slip saying the trip was ok? Didnt it even cross her mind that they might show the kids a cell?

  30. Rich Wilson April 21, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    Wonder what she’d think of the police taking a DNA sample from her kid without her knowledge,0,5478449.story

  31. Rich Wilson April 21, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    Er, without permission, with knowledge after the fact.

  32. KimCmumof2boys April 21, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    My son, 4.5 years old would LOVE going to the police station & would probably ask to be put in the cell! His pre-school class went to the local fire hall (they actually walked to it; its maybe a 6 minute walk from the school). They were shown all the equipment, including an axe. He thought it was neat how the fire fighters called the axe a ‘house key’.

    Some ppl will freak over anything & everything.

  33. Shayne April 21, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    I agree with the above sentiment. I am fine with them visiting a jail. But I have a real problem with the school lying about where they were going. Pending an investigation, I believe the school district should take this matter very seriously. As for the mother, she needs to understand that not every 6-year old child tell the clear truth. Before the fly off the handle, she should have given the school the benefit of the doubt (unless there have been previous issues). However, given the fact the school misled them originally, I’m not sure how much trust I’d put in the school.

  34. KelB April 21, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Oh geez! Really? What is wrong with this woman?! When my son was younger, we took his Cub Scout den to visit the Police Dept. They got to sit in the back of a police car, try on the vest, saw some of the “tools” the police use, etc. The highlight of their visit was to go into the holding cell and shut the door! (a sight I never want to actually see him in!) Now, to be fair, the boys were a little older- maybe 2nd or 3rd grade, but I do not think kindergarten is too young to make this visit. And I don’t think the school “lied” about where they were going, it sounds like they may have intended to visit other areas of town with “Village Hall” on the form. Even if they had to make a change in plans from going to the Library, is it really that big a deal?

  35. karenelissa April 21, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    I’m with most everyone here, I don’t see the problem. I know we went to the police station a number of times with Girl Scouts and always loved it. I know we were never allowed down to the jail if there were people there, but if there weren’t, then we loved that part. I imagine the poor kid went home all excited about it and then mom freaked out.

  36. Beth April 21, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    Some of you have very high expectations of permission slips. The field trip was to the Village Hall and library according to the article; did the permission slip really have to mention *every* village department that the kids might walk into and learn about during that field trip? Maybe provide a list of departments, and parents can check off those they don’t want their child to visit? “Snowflake Johnny can’t visit the Parks Department, because I watch that Parks and Recreation show on TV and those people are just kooky!”

    Back to seriousness. What I don’t understand is why the media even gave this mother the time of day. Surely there are more pressing issues in Illinois.

  37. Shayne April 21, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    @Beth: I would agree with you if it were someplace less controversial. I do think it’s a fine idea to have children visit a jail. However, that should have been spelled out in the letter. This was, parents will be notified and not surprised. As this mother was clearly upset, I suspect there are more like her than we care to see. In this age of schools being accused of stepping over the line (many times with reason for the accusations), it was foolish of the school to hide this fact.

    But that’s only my opinion.

  38. hineata April 21, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    Wasn’t Winston Churchill taken by his parents to the police station – or equivalent- and looked up over night, in order that he might learn respect for authority? And look how he turned out!

    And that teacher and the diarrhoea incident you’re all referring to – yep, agreed, that is sick. I would be surprised something doesn’t happen to the teacher, surely – way worse than leaving 18 year olds at a cafe, or whatever the other story was about.

  39. hineata April 21, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    And after you’ve been made to sit in your own crap for 20 minutes, you might actually require a bit of help getting cleaned up…..I can imagine the child might have been ‘beside herself’ by that stage.

  40. hineata April 21, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    I would be fired for doing something like that, and I teach in a relatively liberal country…

  41. Cedric April 21, 2012 at 7:45 am #

    my mom did that to me on purpose when I was 12 because I was a shithead. IM now 14 years married with 4 great kids and two degrees.

  42. Maureen (@moeyknight) April 21, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    @Susanna King – you wouldn’t believe how much the student’s word is believed over the teacher’s because administrators don’t want to deal with parents who think their snowflake is incapable of lying.

    I think visiting a jail is fantastic. Kids need to know about the people in their neighborhood. The people that you USED to meet when you were walking down the street each day – except they don’t nowadays because they aren’t allowed out of the house.

    Cedric – your mom sounds awesome! Don’t forget to get her something nice on Mothers Day. 😉

  43. Emily April 21, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    Oh, I didn’t catch the part about the jail being part of the village hall. In that case, I think the whole field trip was fine. 🙂

  44. Diane April 21, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    I don’t mind a jail field trip, but I would not have been happy about a being told they were going one place and then going another. I think that is the school over stepping the parents. But, a jail field trip sounds way cooler than the library for any 6 year old boy.

  45. Ms. Herbert April 21, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    Address of Village Hall
    Municipal Complex
    425 Hillside Avenue, Hillside, Illinois 60162

    Address of Library
    425 Hillside Avenue, Hillside, Illinois 60162

    Address of Police Department/Jail
    425 Hillside Avenue, Hillside, Illinois 60162

    Mom needs to get over her sweet self. I do not get why people could get so upset because their kid saw the tools a police officer uses. Police officers, unlike TV, are likely to emphasize gun safety.

  46. Jenn April 21, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    I had to comment because on one of my class field trips to the local police station, one of my volunteer parents just HAD to tell the kids when they were touring the cell, “Trust me, you don’t want to be in there for the night.” Of course, this was in the days before parents had to have a background check to volunteer for field trips.

  47. bmommy April 21, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    The story I read was that the parents signed tripslips to go to the Library & that the police dept usually conducts these tours as part of a scared straight program for older kids. If that is the case I would be upset too. Unfortunately with the media we never know the whole story

  48. pentamom April 21, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    “@Beth: I would agree with you if it were someplace less controversial.”

    What does “controversial” mean in this context? That it’s possible that one hyper-sensitive person might object?

    There’s nothing “controversial” about a jail. They perform a necessary function in our society and it’s worth showing kids what they’re like. Kids see them in movies and TV all the time — it’s probably good that they see the real thing to have a clearer picture. Anyone who thinks children need to be protected from even seeing or thinking about what a jail is like should not be sending their kids to public school, because kids learn all kinds of things there that might trouble the extremely sensitive. If there had been criminals present or they were putting on some kind of “scared straight” presentation for six year olds, that would be “controversial.” “This is the jail, this is the kind of gun we use, and you never EVER touch these, and this is the kind of vest we wear for safety” is NOT controversial.

  49. Vanessa April 21, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    When my daughter’s Girl Scout troop toured the police station a few years ago, they BEGGED to see the jail cells and were disappointed that they didn’t get to. They probably would have loved to be locked up!

  50. Tamaya April 21, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    I would have been upset if the police station had been in a different location, but if it is all in the same building then why does it matter. We went to the police station a couple times in school and it was fun to ” get locked up” . We even did it at the Pinoneer Village in the old time jail.

  51. Lisa April 21, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    When my son was 4 years old and attending Day care he had an excursion to the local police station – I went along as a parent helper. The kids had a ball and some even got to go and sit inside a cell -did they love it, did they talk about it for weeks and weeks – hell yes!!! Were they traumatised – absolutely not.
    Ridiculous parent who should have read the permission slip more carefully and have a bit more faith in her child’s teachers. Whinging parents are the reason so many teachers are looking to change careers.

    As for kids exaggerating stories – you should hear what they tell teachers at news time – some parents out there would be very embarrassed! We like to say to parents – if you only believe 50% of what the kids tell you about us we will only believe 50% of what they tell us about you.

  52. Karen April 21, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Wow!! Agree with the sentiments here. Why did this get media attention at all and who is the insane woman who got all self righteous with the school? Puhlease. They should be publicly chastising HER and investigating her and her motives. And then the school district is put in the position of apologizing. Because, as we all know, everyone should bend to the one complainer. Policies are now made because ONE person lodges ONE complaint. We should be saying that we will take her concerns under advisement.
    Meanwhile: Why does the public and some people on this blog, assume the school was ‘lying’ about their field trip? Where does this stuff come from? The schools/teachers have no reason to lie and they certainly know what would happen if they did. Overstepping parents? Really? Surely, these professionals have nothing better to do than to figure out ways to overstep the parents. We parents are important teachers for our children. BUT, we need to stop undermining the schools and teachers. Let them give our kids some interesting experiences. It sets a bad example for our kids to see us opposing the teachers and vice versa. Our children need us to get out of their way so they can learn.
    As for the jail trip, yippeee! My daughter would LOVE that. She went to the police station at 5 with the Daisies and was the annoying kid asking all the questions and trying to get the officer to sound the siren, etc. Jail cell lockup or holding cell in this case? Awesome! I thought it was great they got to see this important place. I never had this opportunity as a kid.

  53. Selby April 21, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    “You wouldn’t believe how much the student’s word is believed over the teacher’s because administrators don’t want to deal with parents who think their snowflake is incapable of lying”

    Love it, Maureen, and those parents are gonna get CREAMED when those snowflakes are teenagers….

  54. Violet April 21, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    Kimberly, please get away from little kids if you don’t want a virus. Seriously, just stay away. As far as the comment on the DNA, I would be furious of someone took my son’s DNA. Who wouldn’t?

  55. skl1 April 21, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    Donna, about the facts of the poo case, I did not see all that in the article I read. Also, there is the mom’s word and the teacher’s word, considering the mom was not there. I don’t know. I got the impression that the little girl failed to go to the bathroom and had a pure accident, but then they allegedly did not do anything about it for 15 minutes because a test was finishing up. Which I do agree was awful. If it’s true that the girl was asking to go and they did not let her, that’s a million times worse. That’s abuse.

    But like I said, if they take the test out of the equation, are teachers allowed to clean little kids up in a case like that? Or does that risk accusations and lawsuits? When you have parents throwing a fit over their kids walking through an empty jail cell on a field trip, you can imagine what some would do if they found out their kid was touched all over her privates in an effort to clean her up. I could see some school personnel refusing to go there absent a clear policy allowing it.

  56. kenyadee April 21, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    My son would have LOVED it if they had locked him in! And I wouldn’t have a problem with it – if they told me in advance. If the library and the jail were connected, that’s okay. But if it was a complete change in the field trip. Sorry, Charlie. Being upset is not helicopter parenting; that’s just sensible.

    That said, my very best field trip as a kid was unplanned. Well, it was planned as one thing, but the bus never came and rather than disappoint the class, they ordered another bus – this one a luxury motorcoach. Not sure why we didn’t do the first trip, but we ended up just seeing random highlights in the city that were not part of the original trip. And for the record, a change in that manner wouldn’t have upset me as a parent.

  57. Suzanne April 21, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    The article does say that the permission slip said library and “Village Hall” and the police officer said that it was a holding cell so the kids didn’t go to “the jail.” I think it is totally ridiculous that the mother is so upset and agree they can pull video footage and, I’m sure, be able to follow the entire trip though villiage hall. If the mother was too stupid to realize that Villiage Hall houses the police station and that there would be holding cell there why would that be the fault of the school or the police department.

  58. Lisa April 21, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    the case regarding the child who soiled their pants sounds straight forward but I doubt it is. As a teacher we try to discourage students from going to the toilet during classtime, we do things such as requiring the child to make up lost time during lunch, so perhaps the child didnt in fact ask for the toilet, especially if it was during an exam. It is amazing how many students who ask for the toilet during classtime suddenly don’t need to go when I tell them I will be timing them and that time will be made up during playtime.

    I doubt the teacher made a child sit there for 15 mins, I imagine the child soiled their pants and did not tell the teacher, especially if it is in an exam situation. Kids often do not tell their parents the whole story or like to modify it to save face. The parent was not in the room and therefore does not know exactly what happened,

    As for changing and bathing the child, how is a school supposed to do that. A teacher is supervising up to 32 students, are they just supposed to walk out and leave a class unattended. The office staff are certainly not supposed to be changing kids (although I can tell you then go over and beyond often when it comes to medication and sick children), if a parent has not provided a change of clothing in the child’s bag then what are they suppose to change into. I daresay they had no option but to leave the child in the soiled clothes until a parent or caregive arrived. Get over it, this is school not preschool and we are not equiped to deal with this. At our school we call parents or the emergency contact number, make the child as comfortable as possible and wait for a parent to arrive and take the child home.

    If your child is incapable of changing their own clothes unless they are special needs then I suggest they are not ready for school. Being able to change clothing is basic. Don’t get me started on children arriving at school incapable of putting on or taking off a jumper on their own or incapable of opening their own lunchbox – no self help skills is a real problem out there,

  59. Violet April 21, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Lisa, please quit. Just quit. Get a job at the post office.

  60. Lisa April 21, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    I think a visit to the police station would be a lot more exciting than to a library and I’m not 6. Come on!! This mom just wanted something to be upset about.

  61. Donna April 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Skl1 – I believe that the teacher admits that the little girl asked, was denied and then made to sit for 15 minutes while the test finished. Her excuse was that the kids had been told to go to the bathroom before the test started and she wanted a realistic testing experience for them. The only thing I’ve seen denied is the part about the plastic bag. And even that came only in later articles when the principal was on the defensively unlike his earlier very apologetic statements.

    SOMETHING should have been done to help the child. I would not be very concerned with molestation charges. A female teacher could helped (females are highly unlikeky to get accused) and you have definitive evidence that help was needed in the disgusting pants. And sometimes you just have to take a small risk to prevent a little girl from sitting in runny nasty poo for 35 minutes. If they simply refused, the child should have been given clothes from the spare clothes box (most elementary schools have them) and allowed to clean herself up as good as she could. Even a half-assed job would be better than what the poor little girl was stuck with.

  62. Lisa April 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    personally the story about the child with soiled pants does not ring true – sorry but sounds like a beat up. I dont know any teacher that would allow a child to sit in a class smelling and covered in poo for long – its an OHS issue for children and staff – I think what probably happened was a child asked for the toilet during exam conditions was denied – soiled herself and probably was too embarrassed to tell the teacher what had happened – as for changing the child’s clothes – maybe there werent appropriate clothing for her to change into, there may not have been any teachers off class available to help (remember there are between 20 and 32 children in the class who can not be left unattended). It is standard practice at our school to send for the parent of the child to come to the school and change and probably take the child home. We do not have showers at our school. I also don’t believe the school did not allow the child to clean herself up – as I said this story “stinks” – unless the US school system is very very different from our and US teachers are heartless beasts (which I doubt very much) then there is a lot of exaggeration in this story – I would say the truth is somewhere in between.

  63. Donna April 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Lisa, the teacher and school have ADMITTED to most of the story. The ONLY part the school denies is the part about the plastic bag. Why exactly would the school admit most of the story and issue a statement saying that they never want anything like this to happen again, if it WASN’T true?

  64. skl1 April 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Forgive me for being cynical – you can blame recent news stories where 911 tapes were doctored to deliberately distort the facts and sway public opinion; but honestly, I’ve never been one to automtically believe what I hear from news sources.

    It is certainly possible that the teacher asked the child to wait the 15 minutes for the test to be over. It’s unlikely the teacher knew a diarrhea incident was imminent. I don’t think it’s very unusual for teachers to ask kids to wait a bit, especially when they were given a bathroom break not long before. Kids do use the restroom as an excuse to play around.

    As for the solution after the accident occurred: personally I think there should be a policy at elementary schools for removing a child and having a staff member help her clean up, perhaps in the nurse’s office. As another poster mentioned, some parents might not be able to come to the school quickly with a change of clothes. So they should have a backup plan for that. And they might need to relax the “no touching” / “no looking” rules out of compassion for the child.

    I’m not sure in this case whether the time the child had to wait was more problematic than sending her to clean herself would have been. Either way it was going to be an unpleasant outcome.

  65. wendycarolethings April 21, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Despite rules in most schools I have taught in being: you cannot go to thetoilet in class time I always let them go because I couldn’t bear it if one of them had an accident. You get to know pretty quickly which ones are using it as an opt out tactic.

    However when an accident does occurr unless you have a teaching assistant you do have a problem about how to deal with it as children are not allowed to be left alone. Usually this means sending another child to the office.

  66. Violet April 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    Lisa, let’s say the story is not true. Your comments still show that you should not be around little kids. School age children are five and no five year old I know would be able to get all the slimy green poo off their backs and dripping down their thighs without assistance from a kind and caring adult.

  67. Lisa April 21, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    so Violet while I am in the toilet removing slimy green stuff from your child, who exactly is supervising the other 20 plus students? We help students as much as possible but we are limited – by time and by resources, even with a teaching assistant (which are few and far between) I still can not leave the classroom. The only option is for child to go to the office for help – in the office there are office workers who also are limited in what they can do. Its a fact – easy to blame teachers but we are limited by an underfunded system. Oh and by the way I still have doubts about the story – since when do Principals comemnt on students to the press? Certainly not where I live and I doubt in the US either – it would be a breach of privacy.

    Just because you read something in the paper or see it on television doesnt mean it is true or it has been portrayed correctly. I said it before and I will say it again – this story “stinks”

  68. thoughtfulteaching April 22, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    I’m kinda glad that the police, who always seem to be overreacting to freerange issues, were on the receiving end of anti-freerange hysteria.

  69. Kate April 22, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    We had a field trip to the local police station when I was a kid–probably in first grade. There was one little jail cell, and we were allowed to go inside! It was AWESOME!

  70. Donna April 22, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    Interesting that nobody involved in the incident is disputing the mother’s story – including the school and teacher, both of whom have given statements – but some uninvolved people insist that this can’t be true. Me thinks your own bias is showing.

    The story rings very true to me. I have no doubt that the teacher had no idea that diarrhea was imminent when she denied the bathroom break. A 6 year old can’t articulate that. We don’t really know how long the teacher asked the child to wait. The poop happened 15 minutes before the test was over. The girl could have asked well before then. All in all, this was not a major faux pas on the part of the teacher. I ask my kid to wait all the time and sometimes you push it. But for what happened next, it would not have been a big deal. Mistakes happen.

    I have no doubt that the teacher had no idea that diarrhea had occurred when she kept going with the test, but the teacher definitely KNEW someone had crapped in her pants (and any amount of intelligence would tell you it was probably the girl that just asked to go to the bathroom). Even if the child didn’t say anything, the teacher KNEW. First, it stinks. There is no way that someone crapped in her pants in a small classroom and nobody smelled it for 15 minutes. And I’ve yet to meet a 6 year old who would not get very upset if they had just had just pooped in their pants and it was running up their back and down their legs. The child would have been in tears.

    And the US obsession over these stupid tests makes this story ring even more true to me. The very fact that kindergarten students – kids who just freaking learned to read – take practice tests indicates how obsessive schools are. The test results are so important – for school rating, funding, housing prices, luring business to the area and just about every facet of life in the community – they give fake tests for 3 years in hopes of increasing scores. Just last week I had a principal show up in court, demand the judge continue his students’ cases and force a child who wanted to finish his case that day to leave court for this stupid test. We’ve had scandals of teachers changing answers on tests to improve their class scores (proven, admitted to, teachers fired, etc). Teachers will review test sheets and change student answers but letting a kid sit in crap for 15 minutes is impossible to believe? (Not saying that all teachers do these things. I imagine most would not consider doing either. Just pointing out that some teachers are going to extremes with this stupid test).

    This is why I am very happy that my child is going to a small island school for her first couple years of schooling and not dealing with this nonsense. They are not required to test until 3rd grade and don’t test until 3rd grade (and the kids do just fine). While your kindergartners take tests mine goes on field trips to coral reefs and sings Samoan songs at the beach in hopes of luring out the legendary shark and turtle.

  71. Selby April 22, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    If your school is so short-staffed that another teacher or an aide or a secretary or the nurse or even the damn principal can’t take the helm of a classroom for ten minutes while a teacher tends to the emergency need of a child…….then I don’t know what’s become of our schools. A classic example of over-preparing for things that are unlikely to happen (invasion, lockdown, nuclear threat) while being completely unprepared for typical situations that could arise in the classroom (accidents, etc)

  72. Donna April 22, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    @ Selby, While, thanks to a serious downturn in tax revenue, there are many budget cuts in school that seem to be focused on paraprofessionals, nurses and the like who would normally step in in this situation, I don’t think lack of staff is what happened here. I think the teacher didn’t want to interrupt the almighty test. If she dealt with the child, the entire class would have been distracted. 6 year olds aren’t developmentally ready to be taking standardized tests at all. They really aren’t developmentally capable of continuing to focus on said standardized tests with even minor commotion going on in the class. Helping this child would have effectively shut the test down and that is simply not acceptable.

  73. Did April 22, 2012 at 4:33 am #

    @Kimberly – I shudder at the thought of someone so ignorant about basic human biology being allowed to teach children. A small amount of skin contact with poop will “most likely” make a person sick? Seriously? The purpose of skin is to keep bacteria and viruses OUT of your body. You get sick when the bad stuff gets inside via bodily orifices or cuts, and even then, only if your immune system can’t handle it. Fear of disease is not a valid reason to let a child sit in their own waste for an extended period of time.

    Please quit your job as soon as possible.

  74. Christi April 22, 2012 at 5:01 am #

    SKL- In this situation, in a normally staffed school, the child would have/should have been sent to a school nurse who sure as hell can and will help clean up a child and contact the parents. Generally, the school nurse has spare pants on hand or, in some cases, a gown for “emergency” situations.

    In a short staffed school (and I handled a very similar situation– kid asked to go to the bathroom for the 3rd time in an hour. The first two times I let her go. The 3rd time I asked her quietly if her stomach hurt, but she said she had to pee. I asked if she could hold it until the child who was already out at the bathroom returned and she said yes. Turns out, she couldn’t. So it’s me, no nurse, 28 kids, one with “full” pants), you get creative. I called down to the office and explained the situation. An 8th grade teacher who was on her break was sent down to watch the class. I checked with the teacher next door, whose kids had gone to lunch. Together we walked the kid to the bathroom and had her go into a stall and keep the door open. WIth two adults in the bathroom… one outside the stall door and one holding the door to the hallway open (so that we were not alone with the girl in a closed bathroom) we had her take the pants off and then passed her a pile of wet paper towels and had her clean herself up as best she could and put the towels in the silver “pad” bin. With no extra clothes on hand, the only choice we had was to let her wait for her mom in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet as cleaned up as she could get. When we got back to the classroom we sent a buddy down to keep her company (from outside the stall), with directions to come back to the classroom (on the same hallway) if the little girl got upset or didn’t feel well. Yeah, she probably wasn’t as comfortable as she could have been for the following 20 minutes, but it’s a middle of the road solution. Would I have physically cleaned her up myself? No, not unless we’re talking a physically handicapped child (in which case actual rules are different). If it’s that bad, the principal or AP can put her or himself on the line. Sorry if I sound harsh there. The teacher in this story (if what the parents say happen actually happened) was not thinking clearly or was too new or too tenured to figure it out.

  75. Violet April 22, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    Lisa and Kimberly are lost. This page is for Free Range Parents so by our nature, we would not panic over accidentally touching poop nor would we be bound by a silly rule about helping a child had pooped her pants.

  76. Lisa April 22, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    Ok – where I am – no nurses in schools never has been and doubt ever will, do you really need nurses?? Teachers Aide’s are only employed where the kid has a diagnosed special need and then only receive a few hours per week – so changes of there being a teachers aide around is highly unlikely. Our toiets are not located in a hallway that can be seen from the classroom but accessed from outside from the playground. I have dealt witha child who had the runs, I was on playground duty at the time – the only thing we had available for him to clean himself up with was toilet paper, he cleaned himself the best he could and was sent to the office to be sent home – I was also supervising a classroom of 32 kids at the time – wet weather day so lunch and playtime was in the class – all teachers were on class at the time.
    As for testing Kindergarten children – that to me sounds ludicrious! what do you achieve from that? As for teachers and Principals talking to the press (would not happen here – privacy issues), parents on the other hand are free to say what they want and to whom they want.

    Easy to kick the teachers and to lay blame – remember your child is one in 32 and the teacher is alone (most of the time) with that class. Sometimes you make a call – eg – asking a child to wait for the toilet as they are in an exam situation and it backfires, on the other hand you let children out to go to the toilet (they must take a buddy with them) and parents are complaining because their child’s exam was disrupted.

    Don’t worry Did teachers are quitting in droves – just don’t complain when there are not enough teachers in schools to teach your kids – hope you will be happy to fork out huge amounts for private education. Seems everyone is an expert on teaching – yet nobody wants the job.

  77. Lisa April 22, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    Violet – I have no problem with touching a child or helping but unfortunately many parents do – we don’t write the rules. Too many over protective parents around who want to take teachers down have a say eg – the mother that complained her child was traumatised by a trip to the police station.

  78. CrazyCatLady April 22, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    A few years ago, I used to work with the schools and another agency to do parenting programs. We had the schools send home permission slips, so that we could contact the parents and get their buy in and give them books before the program started (as well as letting us figure out special needs issues or such since we were dealing with the whole family.)

    It was truely amazing when I called the families, the numbers that had no clue what I was talking about. Apparently many parents just sign any slip that comes in the bag and send it back without reading it. And it wasn’t just poor or minority families. A lot of upper class families did the same thing.

    I am willing to bet this mom also did not carefully read the slip.

    2 years ago I went with my kids to a historical museum. They got locked in an antique jail cell. In fact, all the kids were fighting over who got to be locked inside. It was pretty funny.

    If the cops were using their “scared straight” program on kinder kids, they should be called to task. I hope they have better sense than that.

  79. skl1 April 22, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    I don’t think the school personnel can or should rebut the child’s verson of events re the poo incident. It seems like a confidential matter to me. Frankly, shame on the mom for publicizing her child’s poo accident. I would have been completely mortified if I were that child.

    Also, I wonder if the mom’s reaction isn’t partly motivated by guilt over sending a sick child to school in the first place. Granted, I’ve done that myself, but if my kid shat herself on that day, I’d know who made the first mistake.

    If nothing else, this discussion makes me appreciate how challenging it can be to teach Kindergarten.

    PS, my kids are in KG and they are currently taking the Iowa tests. It’s spread out over a couple of weeks. They didn’t even tell the parents it was happening now. Personally I will be curious to see the results. I don’t believe any damage is done by administering the tests. The problem comes from building up all kinds of stress over them.

  80. Emily April 22, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    SKL1–Sometimes, parents make mistakes. Two years in a row (grades four and five) I had incidents when I woke up in the morning feeling slightly ill, was sent to school, got sicker, and threw up (spectacularly and in public), and had to be taken home. My parents, of course, felt terrible, but even at that age, I knew it wasn’t their fault. They’re lawyers (well, my dad was a lawyer at the time, and my mom was in law school, and now they work together at the same firm), so leaving me at home before age twelve was technically illegal, and could have gotten them disbarred, and they probably wouldn’t have wanted to leave me at home alone when I was sick at that age anyway. So, sick days required a sitter at home (we normally went to a neighbour’s house after school, but not an option when we were sick), which meant that my brother and I had to be SERIOUSLY ILL to stay home from school.

  81. Emily April 22, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    Lisa–Students at your school can’t go to the bathroom alone? Why? You’d think that the “buddy” rule would be counter-productive, because it’d be too tempting for the kids to play around in the halls on the way to and from the bathroom. We never had that rule when I was in school, even as young as nursery school, let alone kindergarten–and, in kindergarten, we didn’t even have to ask; we’d just take a pass/tag from the hook near the door, and the teacher would count the passes, count the students, and see who was missing. We’d always hurry back anyway, because we didn’t want to miss out on whatever was going on in the classroom, because we had a cool teacher who made learning fun.

  82. Jenna April 22, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    In my city of about 100,000 people, our “jail,” which are really just a couple of holding cells, is part of our city center. So if I had an announcement that my child was going to the Library and City Center, I would fully expect that they may go to the courthouse and police station. I would say that any mom that couldn’t foresee that is an idiot. Unfortunately, the mother’s idiocy is not in question.

  83. Donna April 22, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    Good grief, a sick child at school doesn’t mean that you intentionally sent a sick kid to school. Sheesh, people, kids don’t just get sick at 7am. I got a phone call last week to pick my kid up from school because she was sick. I sent a child to school who was perfectly happy and believed to be healthy. Sadly she was puking within a couple hours of school starting. Life happens.

    The mother is outraged because her child was left sitting in shit for 35 minutes because a completely worthless, fake, non-counting test was deemed more important than a child. Sorry, I can’t think of any decent parent who would not be outraged by that.

  84. Donna April 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Sometimes I get the impression that some here belief that a parent being outraged at anything concerning their kids is being overprotective. I think this thread gives two contrasting very good examples of reasonable outrage and ridiculous outrage. Outrage because your child went to the jail on a field trip is ridiculous. Outrage that a child was left to sit in poop to take a test is reasonable.

    Skl1 – Are you related to this teacher? Because it really makes little sense to keep insisting that this is not what occurred when you are the only one doing so. The school isn’t (for the most part). The teacher isn’t. The other kids in the classroom aren’t. Schools and teachers give statements to the press all the time that contradict child/parent stories. In fact, in THIS case they contradicted the parent’s version. They denied the plastic bag allegations. They gave a statement acknowledging the incident, explaining the teacher’s behavior and saying that test procedure will be changing as a result of this incident. I don’t know what happened but I am certainly not convinced that what was reported is not what happened simply because it was reported. And now you’re blaming the mother for not being a mind reader and knowing her child would be ill during the day.

  85. Lisa April 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Emily – the buddy system is supposed to ensure safety for the students – our toilets are located outside in the playground and not in a corridor. So if a child falls, become ill or a stranger confronts the child then the idea is the other child can go for help – in reality it just means a nice little wander around the school with a friend – the senior students have quite a long walk to the toilets meaning they are gone for up to 10 mins (sometimes longer) – so it is really disruptive. We try to discourage classtime visits but can not and would not ban them. I try things such as (usually with the older grades) go to the toilet by all means but make up the time during playtime (that usually means a quick change of mind or a very quick toilet trip). or I ask the kids “are you burtsting? or can you wait till breaktime? – I dont want any accidents so if you have to go then go but I am not happy you didnt go at breaktime” – sometimes its a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

  86. kdgsummer07 April 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    this is not an overreaction. this is racist. THe mom was mad becuase they schools and cops are prepariong little black kids for interface with the criminal justice system. THis story reminds me of this:

  87. skl1 April 23, 2012 at 2:05 am #

    Donna, I never said I believe it isn’t true. I said I don’t automatically believe what I hear from the media. It may or may not be true. I was not there. And I do not believe that the details of a child’s poop accident should be shared via mass media – especially by the school/teacher – whether the child’s version was true or not.

    Clearly there are some mean teachers and some stupid teachers. Maybe this was one of them. Maybe not.

    If you recall, the reason I brought this up was not because I thought it was ideal for the child to sit in shit, nor because I did not believe she sat in shit. It was because I felt that schools/teachers today tend to find themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes to certain very personal things such as essentially giving a [non-disabled] 6yo a diaper change. The mom felt that it was an outrage that nobody did this for the child, and yet, another parent might have felt it was an outrage if they had. I raised the question whether school policy / law supports the compassionate response.

  88. skl1 April 23, 2012 at 2:14 am #

    I guess as a general statement that relates to many “outrages” in the media, I do feel that it’s completely inappropriate for a parent to go to the mass media to address a private matter. So yes, my bias may have been against the mom from the get-go for the fact that Fox News informed me that her child shit herself. The mother has shown no consideration for this child’s dignity whatsoever. Besides that, the appropriate way to solve a problem is to address the individuals and organizations directly involved, not the mass media.

  89. karenelissa April 23, 2012 at 4:04 am #

    >from skl1 “I guess as a general statement that relates to many “outrages” in the media, I do feel that it’s completely inappropriate for a parent to go to the mass media to address a private matter.”

    I agree that this is a big problem. We tell teenagers to be careful about what they put out on the internet because you can never erase it. And then we have parents go out and tell the media all about their kids private problems. Even a six year old is going to be embarrassed about having an accident and I can’t imagine that they want the whole world to know about. It is the same thing with so many other news stories. These kids are going to grow up and I’m sure they won’t want the world to know all about these issues.

  90. Emily April 23, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    I agree with KarenElissa. Count me in with those who think that the biggest “outrage” here is that the child had a bathroom accident in school, and her mom saw fit to broadcast it all over the TV news.

  91. EtobicokeMom April 23, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    In my effort to skip over the bathroom debate, I may have missed another comment on the original story which comments on the actual jail. However, one of the things that outraged me most was that I do not think that the photo in the Chicago-Tribune story is of the Hillside jail (which, from what I ascertain from their website is, indeed, contained in the Village Hall). It appears to be of a significantly larger and more intimidating jail. That kind of misleading journalism is what should be outlawed!

  92. Jenna April 23, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    I’m sorry, but having taught in the public schools, it’s not the teacher’s responsbility to clean up from a potty accident, nor is it the responsibility of the school staff either. The parents and the child are responsible. If a child has an accident and extra clothing has not been left at the school by the parent (some schools ask at the beginning of the year for parents to send in an extra set of clothes for the younger grades for emergencies), the parent will be contacted and the child taken out of class to the nurse’s office to wait for the parent. Otherwise, the child would be expected to clean up the mess themselves. If they absolutely couldn’t, the parent would again be contacted.

    As a parent, I would never expect someone on staff at the school (teacher, nurse, office staff, etc.) to help my child clean up from a potty accident. Hoiw embarrassing for the child and absolutely disgusting for the person having to do it. When it’s your own kid, you can handle it. When it’s someone else’s, if I was expected to do that, I’d be puking all over the place.

    And in fact, my own first grader, who is seven, had a similar potty accident not too long ago. The school called me, I brought clothes and helped him clean up. He waited in the nurse’s office for me to get there, which happened to be 45 minutes because they called about 20 minutes after I got my baby down for a nap and I couldn’t leave the house and wasn’t about to wake my non-napper up from a very rare nap. I was actually more annoyed with my child for not having gone to the bathroom at recess (which had ended only about 20 minutes before the incident). Needless to say, I don’t think he’ll ever have a similar accident because he learned not to wait that long.

  93. Emily April 23, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    Well, devil’s advocate on the “kid should have gone at recess” thing–morning and afternoon recess are only 15 minutes long each (or, they were when I was in elementary school), and if everyone is rushing to the bathroom in the same 15-minute window each day, then demand is obviously going to exceed supply.

  94. Really bad mum April 23, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    I just don’t get why this is even an issue…. so what if they went somewhere else… who gives a f*#k. they didn’t send the kid over by himself, they didn’t leave him there by himself, don’t think he has any pyscological damage from it!!!!! It’s not a big deal. really it’s not.

  95. thechaoticflame April 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    I know I’m not a regular commenter, but I feel that some of the frustrations targeted at Lisa that suggest she “quit her job” are disconcertingly rude and uncivil. If we, as readers of this blog, hope to be the voice of reason in society then we must not stoop to such a level when confronted with someone who disagrees with us, as we will confront many such people on out journeys.

  96. pentamom April 23, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    thechaoticflame — I agree. I’ve been thinking the same things but hadn’t quite found the right words. You said it well.

  97. skl1 April 24, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    A tangent here, but I remember when I was in KG (1971-72) and there was a girl (I still remember her name) who used to puke on the floor very frequently. The teacher would assign two KG students to clean up the puke each time. As far as I know, nobody died. But could you imagine if that happened today?

  98. Susan April 24, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    I have a six year old son and he would think that was the best field trip ever! Did she ever say if her son thought it was a negative or positive experience?

  99. Diane S. April 24, 2012 at 3:10 am #

    We live in a small town area – when I was teaching Pre-K at the church’s school, we took field trips all over town – including the police station, and also another day to the fire station. They were more scared of the field trip to the dentist than they were at any other place. I read the original article – the police station is AT the village hall, which was on the permission slip. If the mother can’t be arsed to read where her child is going, why is she throwing a hissy now? It stands to reason that they’d go everywhere throughout the government complex, to see the different work people do. And yes, 6 year olds tell whoppers. I heard one about a mouse who walked (holdlng a house key) up the door, unlocked the door, let himself in, and went to play with some toys. I think this mother is over-reacting, they went by one cell, and looked inside. I would think this would be more educational, showing what a jail cell actually looks like.

  100. Lisa April 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    yep kids tell whoppers – today at school parent comes in very upset as her 9 year old has gone behind her back and set up a facebook page (in fact she managed to set up several using different email addresses) – Mum finds out and sees some very inappropriate messages from a boy in the USA (Miss 9 has told the boy she is fact 19) – anyway Miss 9 tells Mum that she has been accessing Facebook at school on school computers and the teachers hadnt noticed. Mum is furious with us. So we call Miss 9 into the office and say “so Miss 9 we are intrigued as to how you have managed to get around the Department’s filters as facebook is banned for students” – “oh” she said “I lied to my mother about that”. So just one example how kids will lie lie lie to get themselves out of trouble or to save face.

  101. Jen April 25, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    HIllside Illinois is a suburb of Chicago and not a small which is not the greatest place to live with gang issues and so forth. Over 50% of the students are elgibile for free lunch.

  102. Ms. Herbert April 26, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    I had this thrown in my face yesterday. A mom didn’t bother to read the letter that went home with the field trip form. Our trip was to the museum to see the planetarium and the Imax. The mom asked were we were really going because she couldn’t find any information about the “exhibits” we had to told the kids we were going to see on their website. UGGG!!!

    On the positive side the planetarium people changed the show to one specifically designed for 2nd graders when they realized both groups were 2nd grade. The show scheduled was more for 3rd – 5th well 3rd and 4th were all taking their reading STAAR tests today and 5th is taking their science STAAR test tomorrow – so not likely to be on field trips.

    Then there was the “bathroom” situation. After the planetarium the kids needed to use the facilities. Well the bathrooms at the museum are maybe 5 stalls each and there are only 1 set in the lobby. (We didn’t pay for admission to the areas with another set of bathrooms).

    I said follow me and led our 80 kids 15 chaperons set the bathrooms behind Miller Outdoor Theatre. None of the other adults in our group knew about them – They are huge and very clean. We got the kids in and out in less than 10 minutes. I was amused by the feaked out woman that followed our group in screeching don’t touch anything you might catch something.

    Oh and anyone here who saw me there. I wasn’t standing just outside the boys bathroom because I was afraid a stranger would hurt the kids – 40 some 2nd grade boys out of sight could be a recipe for disaster – except they know I would walk right in if I heard them up to something. When the male staff member got there he went in to supervise. When a boy got scraped up because of another boy’s carelessness – the male staff member took him to the bathroom to wash off the injury. No one batted an eye. Well some parents asked which was his class. We explained that he is a certified teacher but due to Perry being an idiot and wanting to bring the whole state education system down – the staff member was working as an aide.

  103. Catheirne Scott April 26, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Kindergarteners misunderstand? Parents do too. Like when my friend’s son who came home and told his mom that there was a boy with AIDS in his class. Or that’s how she heard it in any case. Hearing aids as it turns out.

  104. Locked up at a young age and doing just fine! May 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    This is the comment I just posted for the article: When I was about that same age, my school took a field trip to City Hall, including the Police Department. I was SO excited to be selected to be “locked up.” I remember having my mug shot taken (I was grinning ear to ear in the photo that I got to keep). It was one of my favorite memories as a child. I definitely do not think it was inappropriate for children to visit police stations/jail cells. They are learning how the world operates – not being “scared straight.” IMO, the mother’s reaction is completely overprotective and undermines the point of the field trip.


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