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Teacher Says She Was Written Up For Taking Her Students To The Restroom

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teacher helping student with work in classroom

A teacher sparked a conversation around the reason why so many public school educators are choosing to leave their fields.

In a since-deleted TikTok video, a middle school math teacher who goes by the username @pinkmathteacher shared that she was reprimanded by the higher-ups at the school where she works for simply doing her job.

The teacher was written up for taking her students to the bathroom.

"I just got reported for taking my students to the bathroom. I want you guys to sit and marinate on that statement that I just said," she stated at the beginning of her video. Explaining how the administration works at the school, the middle school teacher shared that there are hall monitors who are instructors that "parade around our school as if they're admin."

"Last week, I took my class to the restroom. Mind you, I work in alternative education; my class sizes are small, like less than 10 kids. When I took my students to the bathroom, this person who's not an admin, said to me, 'Don't do that anymore. Don't take them to the bathroom.'"



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She claimed that the warning didn't perturb her since she knew that the hall monitor wasn't her immediate boss and had no authority to forbid her from simply taking her students to the bathroom when they needed to go. A few days later, she did it again, pointing out that one of her students is in IEP and part of his accommodations included assistance to the bathroom. 

However, after refusing to listen, the middle school teacher was alerted about a formal write-up submitted to the HR department. In the complaint, she was being reprimanded for taking her kids to the bathroom, which outright confused her because the only complaints that should be submitted to HR are about teachers who deny their students the right to the bathroom, not the complete opposite.

She claimed that administrators at the school don't want students to miss out on instruction by going to the bathroom.

In a follow-up video, the middle school teacher explained the protocol for taking students to the restroom while working in an alternative education setting. She claimed that in the write-up submitted to HR, part of the issue was that higher-ups didn't want any students missing out on vital learning because they needed to go to the bathroom.

"In the write-up that was issued to me, it had nothing to do with a safety protocol being breached. Their other reasoning was that they have their passing period to use the restroom and so by taking them to the restroom when they already have their passing period, they're missing out on class time and I'm breaking the building-wide expectations."



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She continued, saying that she didn't break any protocol and the only thing that she's being reprimanded for is caring about her students and escorting them to the bathrooms whenever they need to go instead of forcing them to wait until their passing period. 

"It would make more sense if I was putting them in direct harm because contractually, you know similar to doctors when they vow to do no harm, we're also supposed to never put students in harm's way," she said. "But in this case, that wasn't the reason that they wrote me up."

teacher claims she was reprimanded for taking students to the restroomPhoto: Monkey Business Images / Canva Pro

Just as this middle school teacher noted, a staggering number of teachers are considering leaving the profession for multiple reasons, including an unprecedented level of stress.

According to a survey conducted by the National Education Association, 55% of educators are thinking about leaving the profession earlier than they had planned, while 86% of members surveyed say they have seen more educators leaving the profession or retiring early since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

With a high number of teachers leaving and an education crisis happening among children across multiple schools in the country, reprimanding the remaining teachers for doing their jobs and taking care of their students seems extremely redundant.

If the education system hopes to retain the dedicated teachers left, a more collaborative and supportive environment is essential because the absurdity of her job being called into question simply because she refuses to let her students suffer isn't right.

Children are unable to concentrate in class if they need to use the restroom, and no good comes out of denying middle school students, or any for that matter, their right to be excused to do so. 

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.