Children have to put up with a lot when in school.
Some children don’t learn as quickly as others, some children have to endure bullying, and some have to endure sitting next to children who constantly defecate in their pants.
Unusual as the latter sounds, that’s precisely what was happening to the son of Redditor partypooperparent.
But after their concerns about this matter didn’t seem to sink in with their son’s teacher or principal, the original poster (OP) was forced to take legal action.
And when they did, things unfolded in a way they’d never imagined they would.
Worried that they might have turned a molehill into a mountain, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for initiating a report that threw my son’s entire school into chaos?”
The OP shared how their son shared a surprising revelation regarding the goings on in his kindergarten class, and when they brought the issue up with their son’s teacher and principal, their concerns seemed to be falling on deaf ears.
“I have a kindergarten aged son, ‘Jay’.”
“Jay’s birthday was in early February, and when I asked him what he wanted for a birthday present, he said he didn’t want to go to school anymore and if he could stop.”
“I had thought he enjoyed going to school, he hadn’t given the usual kindergartener tantrums or anything, and he told me that there was a kid next to him who ‘made stinky in his pants’ and he couldn’t handle the smell anymore.”
“Well, I called his teacher about it, who told me that she wasn’t allowed to help toilet train the kids and could only call for an aide to clean up the other boy and take him to the bathroom.”
“And she couldn’t even move Jay somewhere else in the room because there was a seating arrangement and that was Jay’s place in it.”
“I was less than impressed with her willingness to do nothing about it, told in this almost bored tone I struggle to convey in writing, so I called the principal next.”
“All he did was confirm that teachers are not allowed to take students to the bathrooms, and that while there was no school wide seating policy, teachers did have the power to seat the students in their room however they saw fit.”
“And if my son’s teacher wanted grid rows of kids in alphabetical order, that was her business.”
“He seemed honestly baffled by why I didn’t want my child sitting next to another kid who regularly sh*t himself.”
As a result, the OP felt the need to take legal action for their son’s well-being, but never imagined things would unfold in the way that they did.
“I was, to put it bluntly, quite angry at this point, and retained an attorney to help me discuss my options and see what pressure we could apply to the school.”
“My lawyer got in touch with the county’s education department or whatever it’s called, and we’re making plans to move Jay to a different school for the next year.”
“But there was an announcement that the principal of the current school is being let go, there’s some ad hoc executive council running the school now, and everything’s in chaos.”
“They’re also firing a bunch of the teachers, and apparently the local teacher’s union is talking about taking action, although they have not done it yet.”
“I wanted Jay out of the situation.”
“But looking back, I could have just changed his school.”
“Now it looks like I took a giant wrecking ball to the school, and possibly impacted literally hundreds of other students’ education.”
“Am I the a**hole?”
“This got way out of control.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP did the right thing by taking legal action, and was in no way the a**hole for doing so.
Everyone agreed that everything that happened after the OP got a lawyer involved likely had nothing to do with them specifically, but rather that their report may have unintentionally revealed multiple other problems which had been happening at their son’s school.
“Imagine being a little kid stuck sitting in his own mess until an aide can come to take him out.”
“All the other kids know about his problem and don’t want to be near him.”
“If that child has a medical situation it needs to be addressed.”
“If it’s a behavioral situation it needs to be addressed.”
“The school isn’t imploding because you wanted your kid’s seat moved.”
“It’s imploding because as soon as high level people started looking closely at the school, they started finding big problems.”
“Revealing problems that already exist is not the same as creating them.”- chernaboggles
“Well, regardless – I think you’re NTA.”
“But I think you are jumping to conclusions to think this is why it’s all happening.”
“Maybe your report made them start to investigate things, which opened up more issues.”
“But I really doubt a single incident is causing all of these issues.”- SDstartingOut
“I don’t care about the seating chart stuff, but how is this fair to anyone in this situation that a kindergarten kid is having accidents in their pants regularly and then sitting in class.”
“An investigation was needed, and clearly this situation was not being handled properly.”-CalgaryChris77
“NTA former teacher here.”
“All you did was hopefully help future students to not be in uncomfortable situations.”
“The seating chart excuse is bs.”
“In my district you can’t go to preschool unless you’re potty trained.”- Klutzy_Discussion129
“But I fail to see a connection to multiple teaching staff being fired and you making a complaint that had nothing to do with them.”
“There are obviously other issues here.”- AngeloPappas
“NTA at all.”
“As a parent myself, I cannot fathom tolerating a school that makes excuses for its neglect of children.”
“And that is precisely what has occurred here, neglect.”
“Yes, I understand that it’s not a teacher’s responsibility to directly potty train a child, because it’s not.”
“However, there’s no good sense in a teacher not encouraging a child to go to the bathroom when necessary, or have a teacher’s aide assist with kids they know are accident prone.”
“Your action is now resulting in administrative response and reevaluation of that school.”
“As somebody who has worked public sector and government for quite some time now, I can tell you that no government body starts firing people and rearranging offices if they know nothing is wrong.”
“The district very obviously identified a series of problems with the school that required actual personnel movements and firing, that’s pretty significant.”
“So, what likely happened is that your initial complaint resulted in the district finding even more problems, and they’re trying to get ahead of them before a lawsuit does.”
“That’s a good thing.”-kalashbash-2302
“Nowhere does it show the connection that retaining a lawyer caused all the chaos.”
“But if it did, then there were reasons for all that happened that isn’t related to stinky pants.”
“I do think the teacher shouldn’t have kept anybody sitting near the fumes.”
“And I would think bowel control should be a requirement to be in school.”
“The child wasn’t ready for kindergarten.”
“At that age, I would think some issues going on with the child that needs looking into medically.”
“NTA, there was clearly a large problem in this school, and what you did set in motion the fix for all of the students, not just your child.”
“You could have caused less chaos, but sometimes chaos is needed for positive change.”- zoe_zoe2
“NTA … not your fault that the school system shat its pants.”- stunted_jest
“I don’t think this was your fault.”
“Yours may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, but remember, if the camel only carried that one single straw, it would have been fine.”-ShampooSucks
“There is probably a whole lot more to the story that you don’t know about.”
“They wouldn’t be firing teachers and the principal if there wasn’t a huge problem going on.”
“If there is a strong teacher’s union, it is very difficult to get rid of teachers.”
“As a teacher, I tend to like this, but it can leave some bad apples teaching for longer than they should.”
“If they’re able to fire MULTIPLE teachers despite their being a teacher’s union, some really bad sh*t had to have gone down.”-grouchymonk1517
“You did not cause this.”
“You may have been the straw that broke the camels back, but there were clearly some very serious and likely long-term issues at the school.”
“If you were the only parent with a legitimate complaint the fallout would not have been so far reaching.”- Forward_Squirrel8879
The OP might have been luckier than they realized by getting their son into a new school.
It seems pretty clear that one incontinent student in their son’s class wasn’t the only problem happening at that school.