Oregon Elementary School Nixes Pay-to-Pee Policy

Jan 14, 2014 3:34pm

An elementary school in Lebanon, Ore., has done away with a policy that required kids to pay to potty.

Some parents said teachers at Cascades Elementary School were punishing their children for needing to use the restroom outside of their scheduled bathroom breaks.

Melissa Dalebout told ABC News’ Portland affiliate KATU that her first-grade, daughter, Lily, had an accident at school while trying to hold in her urine.

In Lily’s class, said Dalebout, children had to pay “Super Pro” bucks to use the bathroom outside their scheduled breaks, or they could hold on to their fake money to buy trinkets at the school store, which parents says gives their kids an incentive to hold it in.

“I just feel my children should not be punished for having to use the bathroom, even if they didn’t take advantage of a recess break because they may not have been thinking of it. They’re children,” Dalebout told KATU.

“Super Pro” bucks isn’t the only potty strategy at Cascades Elementary. If kids use the bathroom outside the three designated break times, they could lose two minutes of recess, reported KATU.

Brian and Sarah Palkki’s 8-year-old daughter, Alexis, feared getting “clipped down” on her classroom’s chart for using the bathroom too many times. The chart ranks students’ behavior daily.

“She was crying one morning, because she felt her tummy to be a little sour,” Sarah Palkki told KATU, “so she was thinking that she might have to use the restroom at school.”

Cascades Principal Tami Volz told KATU that the classroom behavior chart could be helpful in keeping students in the classroom.

“If a student is chronically leaving the classroom, it becomes an intervention strategy for the teacher … to really encourage them to be in class,” Volz told KATU. ABC News’ phone calls to Volz seeking comment were not immediately returned.

“I like the chart for behavioral issues,” Sarah Palkki said.  “I don’t view going to the restroom as a behavioral issue.”

While Volz agreed to drop the “clipping down” and “Super Pro” payment practices in the face of parental outrage, teachers can still withhold recess time for unscheduled bathroom breaks.

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