At 46, I’m the mother of a 16-year-old girl who is going through year 11 in her secondary school. Her school days are usually from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and she typically arrives home by 5:00 PM. The school has a strict policy about cellphones; they aren’t allowed, and if found, are taken until a parent comes to collect it.
One afternoon, she didn’t come home at the usual time. Around half an hour later, she arrived, bursting into tears as soon as she stepped through the door. After calming down and taking a shower, she shared the distressing events at her school.
In her last lesson, which was from 3:30-4:20, she got a severe stomachache. She asked the teacher if she could go to the toilet, but the teacher refused her. She asked another four times, but still the answer was no. Trying to reach me, she attempted to text, but the teacher caught her, and her phone was confiscated before she could send the message.
Since the school’s toilets are always locked and can only be opened with a teacher’s key, she couldn’t leave the class either. With the urgency of her situation increasing, she unfortunately couldn’t hold it in any longer and ended up having diarrhoea in the classroom. The incident led to laughter and humiliation from her classmates, with the teacher not intervening.
With no phone to contact me or catch the bus, she had to walk home for nearly 45 minutes through a busy area, still covered in her own feces. The incident has been shared widely among her peers and even students from other schools, increasing her humiliation. Understandably, she has refused to return to school for the rest of the week.
Given that she has a year left at school, and also already struggles with diagnosed anxiety, I worry about how she will cope with the potential bullying and the aftermath of this incident. I am contemplating how to help her, and what actions to take against the teacher. I plan to call the school tomorrow to talk about the situation.