to keep DD off school due to her period

(237 Posts)
FrameyMcFrame Fri 05-Jul-13 07:46:43

It's school sports day today and DD (11) has just come on to her period.

This would be ok normally but the school has a rule that you have to leave your school bag in the classroom so DD logistically can't change her sanitary towel at school unless she gets it out of her bag and carries it in her hand along to the loos.
Obviously she is too embarrassed to do this so she always comes home in a bit of a mess when she is on her period at school. With it being sports day, this is going to be a problem with changing and the embarrassment associated so I've decided to keep her at home today. AIBU? And what should I say to the school as a reason for her absence?

Good on you Framey for talking to the school about this, you are a cheerleader for girls and womens rights and a good role model!

garlicsmutty Tue 09-Jul-13 18:07:17

I'm glad I went to school hundreds of years ago and not now! I've never had the strongest bladder and, while I had a really late onset (prob due to anorexia,) about half the class was menstruating by 12yo. You just put your hand up to be excused to the loo and there were Dr White's <gimmer> machines, bins and incinerators.

Irrelevant to this thread but, when I finally did get a period in the middle of double Spanish, the rest of the class clocked my blood-soaked skirt and cheered grin

teacherandguideleader Tue 09-Jul-13 17:45:13

Our toilets are locked but children can ask at reception for key - they sign for the key so easy to see who is responsible for damage.

In my experience, girls are generally not bothered about talking about periods - usually it is a case of TMI.

If your daughter has heavy periods, make an appointment with her form tutor or head of year and ask for a toilet pass for her - there is usually a designated loo by first aid.

Not sure if you ever sorted the bag issue, but if I'm ever on an activity where I can't take a bag I stuff one in my bra.

FrameyMcFrame Tue 09-Jul-13 16:18:04

Yes apparently there was vandalism last week and 100s of pounds of damage were done.
So the loos are locked apart from at break and lunch. So that means after school time when they've just had 2 hours of lessons there are no loos available. Unless you ask a teacher.
DP said soon they will have someone wetting themselves.

SlumberingDormouse Tue 09-Jul-13 13:06:42

I agree with the general opinion. Even as a grown woman with thankfully easy-to-manage periods, the thought of not being able to access a toilet whenever I need to makes me shudder! Also, perhaps a silly question, but what would happen if someone needed to vomit or had diarrhoea when the toilets were locked?! It just seems insane.

garlicsmutty Tue 09-Jul-13 12:59:27

Sounds like the head teacher would like a purdah block next to the medical room hmm

girliefriend Tue 09-Jul-13 10:31:22

Your dds school sounds insane confused and shock do they seriously expect a child to explain to a teacher every time they have their period?!

It is ridiculous.

It sounds like something out of 1913 not 2013!!

How about making girls feel confident about their bodies and independent in managing their own periods, ffs its not rocket science!!

farmersdaughter Tue 09-Jul-13 09:01:46

So please you have something sorted for your DD. What a relief for her, even if she did freak!

However this surely is only a short term solution? I agree that you should escalate this ridiculous notion of locking loos and the basic lack of common sense of being applied to the loo's in general to the board of governors cc head teacher, school nurse and possibly the head of the PTA.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 09-Jul-13 08:58:42

>DD seems happy with that arrangement but she went nuts with me when she found out I'd phoned school...

You were absolutely right to phone, well done! - how else did your DD think there would ever be a solution, telepathy? Please try to get her to understand that while its completely normal for girls to be shy about their periods, it's a simple bodily function function that all healthy women do, and it's nothing to be ashamed of.

Hopefully some of her pals will start soon and then she'll be the wise woman of the group who knows what to do!

shewhowines Tue 09-Jul-13 08:49:53

This is ridiculous. Yes, they've made arrangements for your DD now, but what about every other poor girl who has to do things in secret or who haven't stared yet and will have to go through what your DD has.

By the end of year 8, virtually every girl will be having periods. This is totally unacceptable. Write a letter to the LEA and copy it to the head and governors. It is not acceptable at all. Someone needs to do something. You don't need to tell DD you are escalating it. Let her think it's over now.

marriedinwhiteagain Tue 09-Jul-13 07:50:47

Well done OP but I think this needs a gentle letter. Just explain what your daughter has faced and how hjard you have found it to deal with and note that others might feel the same. Does your dd have any friends in a similar boat whose mums you could join forces with?

Umlauf Tue 09-Jul-13 07:44:28

That is outrageous, I can't believe the schools suggestion was to ask a member of staff for assistance! In class?! What are they on!

Thank god you called though as it sounds like the other girls already have secret arrangements in place, but its nuts that the school won't just lift the stupid rule. Why is even in place, do they think students will go in there smoking or something? I agree with 50bales, safeguarding needs to be out in place here. Well done for ringing OP.

bigTillyMint Tue 09-Jul-13 07:06:21

OP well done for ringing!

This is utterly ridiculous - the HeadTeacher's rules, I mean. I think 50Bales is right, you need to escalate this. What are all the other poor girls doing? Are there no other parents who are concerned about this?

Splatt34 Tue 09-Jul-13 04:16:47

She cannot be the only pupil in the school who has started her periods. What are the others doing?

StuntGirl Tue 09-Jul-13 01:02:56

God, do they lack complete common sense or something?

What's the reasoning behind their toilet rules? There will be a root cause to this (bullying, vandalism etc) and because they're fixated on that they're not thinking rationally. Like locking toilets and not letting menstruating girls use them without embarrassment.

eddiemairswife Mon 08-Jul-13 22:52:17

Did you ask the HT what the other girls are expected to do? Is the HT male? Perhaps you could ask the parent governor to raise it. I think you said it was a middle school, I am amazed this hasn't been raised before. Do you live in the back of beyond?

M0naLisa Mon 08-Jul-13 22:50:05

I got my first period at 8 years old. i was in primary school and i had to use the staff toilets due to there being no sanitary bins in the girls toilets.
I had a bumbag - 1993. i was once waiting for dinner and needed to go to the toilet and people asking why i had the bumbag, i did have my spray in there for asthma but it made me feel very embarrassed.

Jan49 Mon 08-Jul-13 22:43:33

Their so called arrangements are ridiculous. They really think that any girl having a period should have a quiet word with a teacher every time she needs to change a sanitary towel or should use the medical room loo? Is it a boys' school?! They need to sort out a proper arrangement, such as sanitary towels in the girls toilets.

50BalesOfHay Mon 08-Jul-13 22:37:37

Contact school nurse tomorrow, and safeguatding. You have to escalate this. It's outtageous!

garlicsmutty Mon 08-Jul-13 22:29:05

The locked the loos???!!!

Glad to hear you arrived at a solution that works for DD smile What on earth is the head teacher on? Have they met any girls before??

FrameyMcFrame Mon 08-Jul-13 22:17:57

update...update...update....

I phoned school and spoke to head of year and head teacher. I was galvanised into action by DD coming home distressed because all the loos had been locked at end of school....! Unbelievable. These toilet rules have become draconian.
Anyway we came to a solution eventually, after the HT kept telling me that DD could 'just ask a member of staff for assistance at any time'.
I had to spell out that DD was not keen about talking to teachers about periods so she said that DD could leave her spare sanitary towel in the loo attached to the medical room at the start of school when she still has her bag. And that she can use that loo any time.
DD seems happy with that arrangement but she went nuts with me when she found out I'd phoned school...

shewhowines Mon 08-Jul-13 09:02:04

I only said about doing it anonymously because the ops daughter has said she does not want her mother to contact the school. Obviously the school does need to be told. It would be best if mum can contact the school directly, but if DD is adamant that she doesn't want that, then writing it together and sending it without a name on, explaining that this is because it is such an embarrassing subject for DD, is the only option left.

IMO the school should be told one way or another. You are failing DD and all the girls if you just leave this issue.

paperlantern Sun 07-Jul-13 22:23:29

If she's soaking through she needs a heavier weight pad and/or to change it more frequent. The purple always ones are much much better are soaking up heavy periods than most.

I do think by keeping her of school you are demonising a quite normal process. Growing up it was quite normal to keep a spare in a pencil case or a small pocket. It was not normal to keep a girl off school for her period. FWF there is no way a middle doesn't have other girls who have already started there period.

farmersdaughter Sun 07-Jul-13 22:07:09

I really sympathise, however one phone call to the school and this matter could be address pretty quickly.

In the short term why not get a teacher / nurses to hold a few bits for her. Then get the school to properly address it after sports day.

StuntGirl Sun 07-Jul-13 22:03:56

The school isn't providing ways for girls to change sanitary items

This, essentially, is the crux of the problem. If you can solve this, then it will solve the problem.

It is no doubt simply a clumsy oversight rather than malicious thinking and a word with the school will undoubtedly solve it immediately. I really don't see why it's so hard.

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