Guarding the toilets.

In answer to Library Girl’s enquiry yesterday, there’s lots of reasons why people have to guard the toilets. You have no idea how many people want to steal them….

No. Smoking is one, though we don’t have all that many kids who are stupid enough to smoke, considering we have a population of 1500. Another reason is that some kids might decide that the toilets are a nice quiet place to sit with your friends and eat your lunch, which is slightly ewww!

Sometimes kids think it’s highly amusing to get toilet paper, wet it (hopefully under the taps) and then throw it gleefully all around the place. This usually happens in the boys’ toilets rather than the girls.

Graffiti is another reason.

Kids taking 10 minute showers after their swim when we’re in the middle of a drought is another reason. Agsin, not a problem with the girls, but Trevor was saying how he was timing the boys’ showers and only letting them have 2 minutes.

Another reason is to keep an eye in case anyone is being bullied. Again, wasn’t a problem on my watch but you never know when it’ll surface.

The one that I remember happened the first year I was a teacher. I had a year 7 home group and one of the girls came to get me, saying that her friend was crying in the toilets. It was a swimming sports day and these girls had a race in about half an hour. I went into the toilets to see what was wrong.

It turned out that this girl had started her period that morning, (her second one ever) and her mother had flipped her a tampon as she rushed out the door to go to work and told the girl to use it otherwise she couldn’t go swimming. This kid had no idea how to insert the tampon and by this stage was totally tense and traumatised.

I was just a young teacher and had no idea that this sort of stuff was in the job description. I couldn’t believe that a mother would set her child up for failure like this. I stood outside the cubicle, walking her through it step by step, then waited outside to give her some privacy, because she was hugely embarrassed. It all ended happily and she went off to swim in her race, but if no one was guarding the toilets the day would have been a nightmare for that poor kid.

In other news, I was able to knit like mad and I finished the back. I’m also sunburnt… so sunburnt that it’s surprising I couldn’t hear my skin sizzle as I stood in the sun for the 4 minute conversation that got me. Damn that concrete which reflected the sun up under my hat!

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15 Responses to Guarding the toilets.

  1. fifi says:

    oh my.
    How extraordinary!

    I wish you had been guarding the toilets when that girl was me. I managed on my own, swam my race, came back and discovered the tampon had disappeared.
    It wasn’t till I noticed the fine white web all over my body when I peeled off my swimmers that I realised it hadn’t disappeared inside me…obviously I hadnt put it in properly. No wonder it stopped hurting the minute I hit the water!!!

    What a nice teacher you are!

  2. Stacey says:

    As a girl that was bullied in high school I fully understand the need to guard the toilets. And the library, locker rooms and just about anywhere else!!
    How lovely that you got to knit on the job.

  3. saffronlie says:

    In my high school the mirrors in the girls’ toilets kept getting smashed until the school replaced them with smash-proof plastic mirrors that distorted the image. Guarding definitely needed!

  4. Watershedd says:

    Bullying in the toilets is still an issue. Know of a child who came off the worse just yesterday. Grrrr.

  5. Urspo says:

    sizzled skin sounds lizard-like
    I hope you have a good moisturizer.

  6. mamatulip says:

    Wow. I kind of wish that my elementary school had toilet guards. The older girls used to traumatize the younger girls, and I mean TRAUMATIZE them, in the bathrooms. Going to the bathroom during recess was a scary experience.

  7. Marylee says:

    My kids used to race into the house every afternoon to get to the bathroom. They’d NEVER use the school toilets. Guard duty doesn’t sound like fun, but what a safety measure! Good for you and your school!

  8. librarygirl says:

    thankyou FD!- it’s always interesting to get your slant on school stuff from the teacher’s perspective. My kids – years 7 and 10 – of course tell about different things…

  9. Jayne says:

    Nothing’s changed, then, since my primary school days when the boys would invade the girls toilets after school hours and throw wads of wet toilet paper at the roof which we’d find the following morning.
    The library is safer than the toilets.

  10. libby says:

    glad to know that some school exersize some form of sense! I think I got some sun today on my outing with the high school enviro team… just about to blog about it!

  11. Ellen says:

    Ouch! That sunburn sounds painful. Have you ever tried using teabags? Just put some used teabags in a saucer with a little water and cool in the fridge for about half an hour. Place the wet teabags on the sunburn for a minute or so and then replace with another cold teabag. This is very soothing and helps to draw some of the heat out of the worst areas. However, this treatment only works if you don’t mind ending up looking like an asymmetrical, but slightly less burnt, zebra.

  12. White vinegar can soothe a sunburn, too. As a fair skinned red head, I’ve had my share over the years.
    I’m glad to hear your school takes the bathroom thing seriously. Boy do I remember some of the things that went down in ours. . .

  13. river says:

    @mamatulip; at my primary school, the toilet monitors (guards) were the older girls, who then of course proceeded to traumatise the younger ones…..when complaining to a teacher, we were told to tell the monitors to handle the bullies. Hah!

  14. Stomper Girl says:

    I’m glad I’m not at high school any more! I (sun)burn just as easily as you, it’s a bloody nightmare.

  15. Laura says:

    AH yes, the toilet traumas.

    I’m so glad you were able to help that young girl out. As a mother to sons you might have escaped having that talk ….. but good onya for talking her through it. Its a tricky business. MY mum gave me the pack and a jar of vaseline, told me to read the instructions and take my time to figure it out. As a dancer who lived in leotards mattresses were not an option. I sympathise.

    Hope the sunburn has improved (ow, scratchy, tight, glowing, owie)

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