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Mom Says Her Daughter's Teacher Is 'Charging' Her To Use The Bathroom During Class — 'It's Hard For Teachers These Days'

Photo: TikTok
Desi Hoffman TikTok about teacher charging students to use bathroom

A mother was taken aback after hearing about the policy her daughter's teacher had in place for students who wanted to leave the classroom.

In a TikTok video, Desi Hoffman explained that her 11-year-old daughter recently started middle school, and during her second week of school, she came home with a slip of paper from her science teacher.

The slips of paper showed that Hoffman's daughter's science teacher had rules in place if students needed to use the restroom.

Hoffman says her daughter's teacher is 'charging' her to use the bathroom during class.

In the video, Hoffman showed a photo of the papers her daughter had brought up, which were given to her by her teacher, Mrs. Garrett.

On the paper, the teacher had created a monetary system called "Garrett $," which worked as a reward system where students were able to receive bathroom and hall passes, one late exception, and access to supplies.

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"But, Mrs. Garrett makes [the students] cash them in to use the bathroom," Hoffman explained, adding that her daughter's other four teachers "have no problem" letting their students use the bathroom whenever the need arises.

When Hoffman asked her daughter how she and her classmates can earn "Garrett $," she replied that if she "donated or bought supplies" off of her teacher's classroom wish list, they were given access to the reward system.

"I get it, it's hard for teachers out here these days and I feel for them, I really do," Hoffman acknowledged, but, as she pointed out, low-income families probably can't afford to donate or buy supplies for teachers, and therefore would have disadvantages over their classmate's parents who can afford it.

"Those kids shouldn't have less opportunities to use the bathroom, regardless of how you earn these. You should not have to barter with your reward cash for rights to use the restroom."

Hoffman added that her daughter also told her that her teacher also charges students if they need to go to the nurses' office at their school.

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Hoffman offered advice and different solutions to her daughter's teacher in an email.

Hoffman immediately sent her daughter's teacher a respectful email, writing that she shouldn't be seeking monetary benefits from her students.

In the email, Hoffman wrote that while she can appreciate the use of "a classroom currency for the use of perks and motivation," she can't support a "system that prevents children from using the restroom at a school they are required to attend."

Hoffman offered other suggestions to her daughter's teacher, who had recently been hired and was starting her first year of teaching.

"If you see any students excessively using the restroom, you might want to consider pulling them aside and finding out if there's a more personal concern at hand," she said.

She pointed out that the teacher doing that would "build a sense of trust" led by compassion instead of attempting to micromanage a group of young children.

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Hoffman told her daughter's teacher that she would not be allowing her child to follow the rules of the monetary system set in place.

"[My daughter] has my full authorization to [use the bathroom and go to the office] whenever she needs to, without needing to explain herself."

Hoffman told the teacher that she'd make sure her daughter would always "respectfully" ask when she needed to leave the class for any reason, and would inform the teacher where she was going.

TikTok users agreed that teachers shouldn't withhold bathroom privileges.

"As a teacher, I completely agree. Restroom breaks aren’t something to negotiate for," one user wrote.

Another user added, "As a teacher, I let my students go whenever they ask. If a situation arises where a specific student is becoming a problem, I deal with that one kid."

"This is my 11th year teaching & I never tell a child not to use the bathroom. It is not a privilege to go to the bathroom," a third user pointed out.

A fourth user wrote, "kids should always be able to use the restroom. I’ve always told my kids to just GO, and if they get in trouble, then I’ll deal with it."

"I fully support you on this. Her idea to do this is wrong," a fifth user pointed out.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.