Well, that’s one way to soil a school’s reputation.
The Herald Sun reported that Bellbridge Primary pupils were “fined” and made to stay late if they needed to visit the toilet during classroom time.
The school runs a “earn and learn” program where students earn pretend money but if they visited the toilet too often they were fined anywhere from $10 to $50. Some students were even held back at recess or lunch as punishment.
Yes, you read that right. These children were being punished for daring to put up their hand up for what is considered the most basic of human rights.
While it’s great news that the school back-flipped over the program and consequently acknowledged their error in judgement, sadly, it’s not the first time that this kind of shaming and humiliating practice has been seen in a modern Australian School.
In 2011, another primary school in the Inner Eastern Victorian suburb of Kew came under scrutiny after it was discovered that their Principal was trialling a “whole class approach” when it came to toilet breaks. The practice meant that if one child needed to go to the bathroom, then the entire class would also have to go along.
So what was the Principal’s method to this madness, you ask? Well, her reasoning was apparently two-fold. She was adamant it would decrease interruption to class lessons (as children were less likely to ask to go if they thought the whole class would also follow them) and secondly, to curb graffiti.