‘It’s sickening,’ Parents upset with elementary school’s ‘pay-to-potty’ program

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VANCOUVER, Wash. – A third-grade teacher in Washington is accused of going too far by asking students to pay to potty.

Two parents complained their kids had accidents during school after they were forced to ‘pay’ to use the bathroom, using play money they earned while in class.

Students in class earn Monopoly money throughout the day, which they can spend on things like popcorn, pizza and candy.

Parents say it is part of the curriculum for some third-graders at Mill Plain Elementary.

Merchon Ortega said, “My daughter finally told me, ‘We have to pay to use the bathroom.’ Nobody should have to pay to use the bathroom.”

In this case, the student chose to spend the money on the treat, which led to an accident in class.

Jasmine Alayadhi said, “They have to do something. This has to stop. I mean, it’s just inhumane. It’s sickening.”

Last week, Alayadhi’s daughter came home after wetting her pants.

She said, “I didn’t want to be left out. I wanted to have popcorn with my friends.’ And so she tried to hold it, she said it hurt so bad. She goes, ‘Mommy, I couldn’t hold it. It hurt. The pain was so bad.’ She goes, ‘I just had to let it go.”

When asked about the pay-to-potty program, officials said it was up to the teachers to decide how to monitor class time.

Gail Spolar, spokeswoman for Evergreen School District, said, “It’s all part of how they manage the classroom and so that was the process that was decided on.”

However, Spolar says students are never denied from using the bathroom.

Parents say they will not be satisfied until it is put to an end.

Alayadhi said, “If you put a little 8-year-old and you put a bucket of candy and popcorn and pizza and then they had to go to the bathroom. What do you think a kid’s gonna choose? A little 8-year-old? They’re gonna choose candy.”

School officials are looking into whether the correct process was being followed in the classroom.


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