Fifth graders in one Coney Island classroom had a tough decision to make: Should they go to the bathroom or try to hold it in and win a prize?
According to one student, their teacher, Stephanie Warner, had a very strict bathroom policy in place. Every child got three bathroom passes to use -- per week! Those that don't use their passes got a prize, like a small toy or novelty eraser.
It's a policy that raised eyebrows -- and health concerns. "It is not fair to the children," parent Sandra Leon told WCBS New York. "Mine has a bladder problem, so three times a week is not cutting it."
Another teacher at the school says although children shouldn't be intentionally missing classes, limiting bathroom privileges is not the way to police that. "They want to discourage children from missing instruction for whatever reason," she told WCBS. "But if you have to go, you have to go."
The Department of Education issued a statement on Wednesday clarifying the incident: "There is no school policy," it read. "Apparently, one teacher took it upon herself to enact a limit. The principal says she has put a stop to this."
That's some relief for little bladders, but it also raises the question: If strict systems and rewards are over the top, what's the right way to make sure students don't take advantage of excessive bathroom time?