Hello!

DS is 12 (in Yr 7)

He rarely asks to go to the toilet.

He was in an Art lesson (he had a lesson before this, so it wasn’t just after break/lunch and the toilets are locked during lesson change) and asked if he could go to the toilet, it was 15 mins in.

Teacher said no and he left it. 5 mins later he asked again and she said that she had already told him no and he said that he really needed to go and she said that he can’t.

5 mins even later, he got up and went over to her and said that he really doesn’t think he can hold it anymore and he seriously had to go and she told him to sit down and get on with his work.

He said to me that he would have walked out at that point, but the toilets are locked and you need a note to get the key and he went over to the sink (he said standing helped) and that’s the only way he could possibly keep it in. She said he was taking too long to wash his hands and he wet himself.

He then went over to his teacher and asked if he could go to medical as he feels really sick and she then told him to stop it and stop trying to lie his way to the toilet. He sat down.

When the lesson was over he began to cry and the teacher went over and asked what the problem was and she obviously saw because before he answered, he said she began to just back away and start to write on the board and told him to just go to lunch.

He got up and phoned me from the toilets and I went and got him (I pretended he had an appointment, someone else’s was cancelled so he got it quick (wasn’t true)) and now he refuses to go back, he thinks everyone saw, but by the sounds of things they didn’t?? I just don’t know what to suggest :(

AIBU or was that teacher in the wrong? (Fair enough if I’m being unreasonable/DS is, but just not sure what to do)


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  • A bit rough. I get the kids who regularly ask for toilet breaks are to blame here


  • I hope to see a follow up on this forum post. I would love to know that her son is doing better and the school implements a positive outcome.


  • Stupid teacher I would go to the principal


  • It’s crucial to ask customers for feedback regularly to understand their needs and improve services https://realreviews.io/blog/what-are-effective-strategies-for-collecting-customer-reviews . This can be done through surveys, email follow-ups, or direct conversations.


  • What did you end up doing mom512726 ? And how is your son now ?


  • I would be very quickly going to the headmaster/mistress and reporting the teacher and then letting them sort out the problem they have made that your son no longer wants to go to school. This is the 21st century, not the dark ages!


  • I’m sorry, are you saying that the toilets are LOCKED between meal times???
    I maybe oldervbthan most of us, butwhen I HAD to go to the toilet during an examination, was allowed .. although I had to do a ‘catchup” when Igot back


  • That is definitely teacher. what a poor boy? it is a natural thing that happens to everyone. So sad


  • This is truly horrible… and has almost happened to a few of my children over the years. Thankfully I had conversations with them before something actually happened. I told my children that if you are going to find yourself in THAT situation to leave and go to the toilet/office straight away… thankfully our children’s toilets aren’t locked. What school locks their toilets – honestly!
    I can recall a situation like this and the incident was reported to me by her teacher. I called a meeting with the Principal and had the teacher marched in to, ahem, discuss this matter further. I pointed out that my daughter has bladder issues and to obstruct her from going to the toilet when absolutely needed was a breach of duty of care. Not only could that have had a massive impact on her mental wellbeing, she, no doubt would have been the subject of ridicule and bullying. I wrote a note for her to carry in case another teacher approached her and I warned the school that if anything like this was to occur again that I would report this to the Dept of Education. Needless to say, my firm stand and harsh words were taken on board and this didn’t happen again.
    ABSOLUTELY address this with his teacher and the Principal. Toilets are a necessity, not a luxury and should never be locked.


  • This is so sad. Teacher is definitely in the wrong. Both for not letting him go and for not contacting you as soon as she realised what happened. Honestly I’d be so angry if this was my son.


  • That is NOT Ok! That just made me feel so sad! The teacher is completely in the wrong and I would be discussing it with the school!


  • I just read the article about it. Definitely not okay. I would talk to the teacher and to the principal.


  • There should also be student services/supports that should be able to provide support.


  • The teacher is very much in the wrong. I’d complain formally (in writing) as well as ringing the principal.


  • I would be putting in a serious complaint.


  • This is so not okay.
    I would request a meeting with teacher and principal and discuss openly what position the teacher brought unto your son.


  • I would want an immediate meeting with the teacher and principal and the issue would need to be addressed and a plan in place for a safe return to school. Trust needs to be restored with the teacher and school. A sensitive and kind mediation needs to occur.


  • Whoa I would be full-on Mumma bear/lion over this one. How dare she fail in her duty of care on such a basic human need/right. There is an organisation that is very much in support and vocal about this very issue – Continence Foundation of Australia. I’d be giving them a call first. Arm yourself with information. Then take it to the principal. This teacher is very much in the wrong. When are mainstream schools finally going to turn it around and show respect to students. The teacher’s attitude is archaic. https://www.continence.org.au/news/kids-holding-its-not


  • I would be taking this up with the teacher and principal. That would have been a very stressful and embarrassing thing for your son to go through, especially in high school.


  • What an unreasonable and harsh thing to do to a kid. I think it’s such an out of touch, out dated thing to refuse kids a bathroom break. Maybe if the student does it repeatedly just to skip class, but your son doesn’t sound like he fits into this category.
    If I were in your position I would contact the school and escalate the issue. Year 7 is now high school, such a high anxiety time in your adolescence. Schools talk the talk about mental health and support in teens, these actions go against that. Teens should have body autonomy.
    Really sorry your son had this experience.


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