Thursday, April 18, 2013

Poop Problem

There are so many things I want to write about lately.  So many things that are more important than what I'm about to tell you.  27 days of work left. More to come this summer.

But I can't get this story (albeit, very trivial story) out of my mind.  So I thought I'd share.

We have a 'poop problem' at one elementary school I work at.  Some child is spreading poop on the walls in the bathroom and throughout the school.  The teachers can't figure out who it is.  Every day, poop appears on the walls and every day, the kid gets away with it.  The teachers tried a buddy system for the bathrooms, but whoever the poop bandit's buddy is apparently approves of this ridiculousness.
Now they are implementing a bathroom signout sheet for every classroom.  The kids are supposed to sign out the time they go to the bathroom and report if there is poop on the walls when they got there so they don't get blamed for it.  I have no idea if there is actually a sign-out, if the kids can tell time well enough to write down the time, or if they are reporting what they see.  The teachers are really trying though!  The poor janitor - comes in my room every day to clean right after school, and he is very discouraged and sick of it.  He works really hard and finds the situation very frustrating.  Understandable. He is not paid to clean up the kids' poop from the walls.  He has WAY more important things to be doing to keep this building running.

I suggested to the principal that we up the 'threat.'  Here's the thing - the smart, naughty kids have figured out that the teachers at school can't really do anything when they're naughty.  They might lose a recess here and there or call their parents, but we can't actually punish them.  So, if mom and dad don't care, then there is really nothing to be lost by acting up at school.  Going on about this is really a different issue, so I'll get back to the poop problem.

Like I said, I suggested we up the 'threat.'  Tell the kids they better report what they see because we will find the kid who is doing it and when we do, they will spend every single recess of every single day next year cleaning the bathrooms.  To me, that is logical.  You spend a year putting poop on the walls of the bathroom, then you spend another year cleaning the bathrooms.  With the threat, explain that if you don't report it and we end up thinking it was you (even though it wasn't), then that's too bad, you will be the one cleaning the bathrooms.

My principal said she can't do that because a parent would have a fit.  Now, she is a VERY good principal.  I love working for her.

but, WHAT!?!?!??!?!?!?!  the parent of a child who spread poop all over the building (there was once some outside my door on the floor, which is not anywhere near a bathroom...) would have a problem with that child cleaning the bathrooms for a year??

I understand where she's coming from, but I giggled and said - well then perhaps that parent should send their child to a school where it is acceptable to put poop all over the building.

Ay ay ay.  Some little 10 or 12 year old brat who has no respect for others or authority is outsmarting a bunch of adults, and to me, it is very logical that the adults in charge do whatever they can to figure out who it is and teach this child how to respect authority at age 10 or 11 or 12 before he (boys' bathroom) starts doing things a lot more serious that have a lot bigger consequences than some poop here and there.  Granted, teachers can only do so much to instill such lessons in kids that aren't their own.  But we might as well try as hard as we can, because that kid could go on to do a lot more damage.  Hopefully he'll learn sooner or later, preferably sooner.