A woman named Brittney Ward posed an ethical and practical question in regard to her daughter’s schooling.
Ward describes herself in her TikTok bio as a wife and mom, “foster and bio.” Her presence on the social media platform mainly focuses on her experience as a foster parent to teen girls who are mothers themselves.
The foster mom wondered if she was being an ‘overprotective helicopter parent’ when she pushed back on a teacher’s rule for her teen daughter.
Through a TikTok post, Ward posed the following question: “Am I the a–hole and being an overprotective helicopter parent or is the teacher?” She explained her predicament, stating, “My 16-year-old, teen mama, came home with a syllabus from one of her teachers, and it says, she’ll grant you the right to go to the bathroom one kid at a time."
While that rule seemed strict enough, it paled in comparison to the teacher's next rule, which denied students the ability to use the bathroom freely.
"If you exceed 5 minutes, you may not go to the bathroom for one week. If you are not on task, you will not be allowed to go to the bathroom," Ward stated.
Ward read her reply to the teacher, taking a strong stand against the cruelty of the established rules prohibiting students from using the bathroom.
Photo: Katerina Holmes / Pexels
She said, “While I appreciate the work ethic and responsibility you are trying to instill in your students, there is part of your syllabus I do not agree with. If my child needs to use the restroom, she will be going to the restroom. Taking away the most basic of human rights is not an acceptable form of punishment.”
Ward illustrated both the inhumanity of the rule and the health repercussions associated with not being able to use the bathroom when needed, saying, “This is especially accurate when it is proven that holding your urine for prolonged periods of time can result in urinary tract infections and other medical conditions of various severities.”
“Please put my response on file as not agreeing to your barbaric bathroom policies,” she continued. “Should there be a problem, I’m happy to make time to meet with you and the principal. Thank you.” She ended her letter by including her contact information.
Photo : Brixiv / Pexels
“Am I in the wrong or is the teacher? What do y’all think?” Ward asked her followers, who overwhelmingly agreed with the position she took.
A number of other moms explained in the comments that they tell their kids to go ahead and use the bathroom whenever they need to, even if a teacher reprimands them and, as parents, they’ll navigate any existing conflicts.
Other people noted an element of ableism within the teacher’s bathroom rule, wondering what would happen to students with chronic conditions, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or any student with a uterus who happens to get their period during school.
One person came to the comments as a teacher, explaining that often, strict bathroom policies exist in schools because “the amount of issues happening in the bathrooms is insane.” Yet the fact remains that treating kids in an authoritarian manner causes harm.
Kids, especially those going through the changes of puberty, shouldn’t be made to feel shame about tending to their normal bodily functions. Ward did right by her daughter, standing up for her autonomy and ability to leave class to take care of herself as she sees fit.
Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.
This article originally appeared on YourTango