Menstruating schoolgirl denied toilet pass during class

A Bristol school's no toilet-break policy is condemned after girl on period bleeds through clothes.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Menstruating schoolgirl denied toilet pass during class - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Navigating school corridors and social situations as a young girl who has just started her period can be traumatizing. As someone who went to a school that may as well have been the Wild West during break times and lessons, I spent the first year as a Menstruating Woman clutching my rucksack as if my pouch of sanitary towels would come bursting out at any minute.

School can still be a rough time for girls experiencing their periods, with many missing school altogether due to not being able to afford sanitary products.

And despite British city Bristol's plans to end period poverty, girls at some schools aren't having an easy, breezy experience with their periods.

One Bristol school's no toilet-break policy resulted in a young girl on her period bleeding through her clothes during class.

The school has been condemned by the girl's mother and the public for the "outdated" policy, which left the girl "traumatized", according to regional paper Bristol Live.

Until periods are normalized and not seen as a "taboo" topic that humiliates girls, toilet breaks must be a given.

Details from the story:

  • Staff at a Bristol school refused an 11-year-old girl's request to go to the toilet while she was on her period.
  • According to Bristol Live, the girl "pleaded" with teachers, but was left "humiliated" after bleeding through her clothes in the middle of the classroom.
  • Bristol Live has since reported that the policy has been condemned by readers, parents and the British public as "unacceptable" and "outdated".
  • The girl's mother said she was worried other girls would have a similar experience across the UK and about how other school would deal with the situation.
  • "They should not be making young girls feel guilty because she needs to go to the bathroom and sort out her basic care. Now, she’s scared to go to school in case they won’t let her out of the classroom, that’s not what we should be teaching girls," said the girl's mother.
  • The school is not the only British institution to have a no toilet-break policy. As well as girls on their periods, all children could be negatively affected by such a policy, such as those with long-term illnesses.
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