A mum is furious after claiming her daughter who was on her period at school was told she was not allowed to use the toilet – and then punished for going anyway.
The 15-year-old pupil, who has not been named, was allegedly told to ‘sit back down’ when she stood up and begged to go to the loo.
She was then put into seclusion for the rest of the day at Valley Park School in Maidstone, Kent.
Her mum said: ‘When my daughter first told me what happened I thought, “There’s no way you’d get put into seclusion for just asking to go to the toilet,” but I got the same story from my daughter as I did the teacher.
‘She didn’t want to go to school at all the next day.
‘I’ve never been called about her behaviour before and she has never been in trouble, so I think it’s absolutely ridiculous.’
The Year 10 student’s mum said she rang the school to explain, but a member of staff stuck by the strict policy and said each teacher can make an ‘individual judgement’.
‘I spoke to the head of year and said, “From one woman to another, surely you understand why she left the classroom?”‘ added the mum.
‘She even told the teacher the reason for the problem.
‘The member of staff just said to me as a teacher, if she needed to go to the toilet, she wouldn’t be able to leave the classroom unattended.
‘There’s no way I believe a teacher would have stood there for the whole hour lesson when they needed to go in the same situation. They would have called a superior or a colleague to cover them.’
In response, headteacher Margaret Hutchinson said the school would ‘never deny any student access to our bathroom facilities’.
‘But we do ask that students make every effort to do this during break and lunch time to minimise disruption to lessons,’ she added.
‘In this case, the student was asked to wait because students had only just had a break but, unfortunately, she left the classroom without permission. It was this behaviour that resulted in the internal seclusion.
‘We make every effort to be understanding when students need to use the facilities for specific reasons, however, it is our policy that the class teacher will make a judgement based on the individual circumstances.
‘We have spoken with this student and her mother regarding the particular incident and have explained our rationale for the seclusion – this was because of her disrespect to a member of staff upon leaving the classroom, without permission.’
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