This is highly ironic. I posted earlier about a school district in Texas that has chosen to teach students not to be passive if a gunman should enter the classroom. They are being taught to fight back. More importantly, they are being taught that it is alright to fight back. It seemed a good idea, if only to reassure children that they do not have to be passive in a violent situation. Now, on the other extreme comes this item from South Carolina. A fifth grade teacher has been suspended for allowing students to use a trashcan as a latrine during a school lockdown drill. One boy and four girls used the can during a drill that lasted "less than an hour". The children using the facility were shielded from view by same sex students holding coats while all the rest of the students were facing the walls.
On Tuesday, Frandino gave the Charlestowne Academy students permission to use the trash can. When a girl used the bathroom, other girls held up jackets to shield the view while other students stood on the opposite wall with their backs turned, school district spokesman Jerry Adams said. Boys also did the same for the boy.
"It's not acceptable," associate superintendent Patricia Yandle told the newspaper.
During the drill, which lasted less than an hour, Frandino called the school's main office and said students needed to use the restroom. It's unclear what the he was told to do, but Yandle said he was not told to have students use the trash can.
"We always learn something" during lockdown drills, school district spokesman Jerry Adams said Friday. "And clearly communications between the classrooms and the main office to get directions on things was one of the issues here."
Adams said as much privacy was given as possible. He also said students were given sanitary wipes.
The teacher was on administrative leave with pay. Frandino did not comment on the situation to The Associated Press.
Adams said officials were still looking into the incident.
"In a drill like this, teachers and principals have discretion and they have to make decisions," Adams said. "I'm not going to second-guess that today."
The school sent a letter to fifth-grade parents explaining that in an effort to follow lockdown procedures and ensure students' comfort, the teacher allowed the trash can to be used as a toilet. The lockdown was practice for an intruder entering the building.
Passiveness taken to the extreme. Let's consider for a moment. If the teacher had refused permission, would he be in as much trouble or even more trouble if the students had soiled themselves? Kids that age sometimes wait until the last moment before realizing they have to go (I've raised four – I know that for a fact). If the drill had been a real situation instead, would this discussion even come up? Or would the parents be enraged if the teacher had let the kids into the hall to use the bathroom.
For heaven's sake. Is this what the world is coming to? We have it bad enough already with monsters killing little girls in a school and we have parents and school administrators more worried about what? "Acceptable" versus practical? Safety versus propriety?
This is just plain stupid by any standard. The administrators should be ashamed. We are fighting ourselves on how to address this evil. And we are doing it over the stupidest possible things.