Originally Posted by Emilie
it is barbaric to have to ASK at all to go to the bathroom. Absolutely ridiculous
I disagree, in situations where an adult is watching children and needs to know where they are. My children have to tell me they're going to the bathroom when we're out, as I'm sure others do too. No different in school, where one adult often has to keep track of 30 kids.
Anyway, re what to do, I recommend going in calmly and talking to the teacher to get the whole picture first. It is not a good idea in situations like these to go straight to the principal, let alone the superintendent. To be honest, it is waaaay too much to recommend going above even the principal's head over something like a peeing accident. I agree that it was awful for your son and it sounds like the system needs addressing, but that is a job for the teachers and principal, not the superintendent of schools.
Maybe if you open a clear and frank dialogue, you will discover there are other sides to the issue and that you have to be creative to find a solution. After all, parents would be more upset if the school was open for some stranger to walk in and approach their child - or even abduct one - than having their child pee their pants.
My point is that without knowing all the facts and understanding the rationale behind the school's policy, you cannot have a meaningful dialogue. If you approach the situation openly and without anger and blame, you will get a better response and are more likely to get a satisfactory outcome. I don't think this is unique to schools - it is a fact of life when dealing with any group of adults or organisation. Now, if once you've got the facts you still feel that the teacher was uncaring and callous, then for all means get tougher.
After years of working with PSs, I have seen parents take all kinds of approaches to problems, and this is the one that works best for everyone involved. And I don't think PSs are any different to any other organisation - the teachers are humans who generally respond better to being approached respectfully and being given the chance to explain themselves, just like anyone else. Your aim should be to build a partnership, and you won't do that if you approach by assuming the worst instead of the best.