We often have fond memories of our childhood, remembering them as carefree times when all we needed to do was study and play.
Of course, it’s understandable that we may have selectively forgotten the drudgery of frantically studying for exams and, of course, lasting through a boring lesson without falling asleep (or without getting caught at it, at least).
Sometimes, in the course of all these lessons, we may have needed to go out to use the toilet. Whether it was just an excuse to get a minute of relief or it was the real thing, those visits to the toilet while class was in session were moments of pure bliss and quiet.
Unfortunately, students at Norden Community Primary School in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, won’t get to enjoy that privilege so much because the school’s headteacher, Rachel Bentham, actually requires her students to fill up a “reflection sheet” every time they need to use the toilet during class.
Per the Mirror, Bentham supposedly also requires students to do “fantastic walking” where they walk the school grounds in a “calm and purposeful” manner while holding their hands behind their backs.
Needless to say, her policies have generated concern, so much so that parents have written the school saying that the “mental well-being” of their children have been affected.
The letter said: “It has been reported to parents that children are being denied toilet breaks in lessons, or if they appear really desperate and have gone anyway, they have to fill in a reflection sheet.
“Why stigmatize children with having to fill in a reflection sheet about a bodily function some children are only just learning to control?”
They added that “fantastic walking” belonged “in Victorian times or in a military academy.”
The family members continued: “Asking children to walk with their hands behind their backs represents a significant risk to their health and safety. Children are not fully coordinated and use their hands and arms to balance.”
Some children even reportedly commented that “all the fun has gone out of school.”
The school’s governors have replied to the concerns, saying that Bentham was “committed to working with the parents to provide the best quality of education.”
In a separate letter, the governors responded: “The head has established parent forum meetings. The first will address some of the concerns about changes. We will respond to all concerns or complaints if they are received in an appropriate manner.”
In the meantime, a Rochdale Council spokesperson said in a statement: “We are aware of the issues that parents have raised and we are dealing with them via appropriate procedures.”
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