A young boy, 12, was forced to relieve himself behind a bush after the school refused to unlock the bathroom during class. Now, his mother is slamming the school for forcing him to go outside to defecate.
Treorchy Comprehensive School in Wales, UK; says it has a policy of locking all toilets during class. The boy, who was suffering from diarrhea, had asked a teacher to let him leave class to use the bathroom. When he requested the key to the toilet from the receptionist, she refused, forcing him to rush outside and relieve himself behind a bush near the school.
The school says it will revisit its policy of locking all bathrooms after the mother’s complaint. “He had diarrhea and didn’t want it to run down his leg so he just had to find a quiet area outside," the boy’s mother told Wales Online. “It breaks my heart to think someone could have seen him. As far as I’m concerned it’s neglect by the school.”
The mother says that the boy wasn’t ill when he went to school but had a stomachache after lunch. She believes the school neglected her son and created a health issue by preventing him from wiping or washing his hands.
Although she is happy with the school and her son’s grades, she has expressed shock at their bathroom policy. “I feel it’s very neglectful to not have free use of the toilets. They can’t just shut off the toilets like this,” she said.
The parents have chosen to remain anonymous to protect their son. They say he told them of the incident that same night and they filed a complaint with the deputy headteacher the next day. They were informed that students must request a key to go to the bathroom. The school says the policy has been instituted to prevent kids from avoiding lessons by pretending they need to use the bathroom.
The deputy headteacher said he would speak to the receptionist as to why they didn’t give the boy the key. A spokesperson for the 1,644-pupil school says that the institution has nine sets of toilets on campus and that most are locked during class times to guarantee all students have “access to the highest standards of toilet facilities when they wish to use them, upon request.”
They say that the school has procedures that allow students to use toilet facilities during classes. Adding, “These have proven to be effective over many years. It would not be appropriate to comment on any individual cases but no child or young person who requires the use of a toilet is denied access. The school routinely reviews all school policies and, in light of the concern raised, an evaluation of existing procedures and policies will be undertaken.”
The school's website states that the institution strives to ensure the rights of children and young people and to take action in response to any signs of abuse or neglect. It also says that schools have a legal obligation to care for the health and safety of its students and to safeguard them from harm.