“Teacher sends girl home without pants. Her father did this for a young child sitting in school for several hours can be a great challenge. They always want to move, play, jump, but it’s natural because they’re children. However, there are different children with special needs for whom sitting all the time at their desk is not only difficult for them; it is simply impossible.
Unfortunately, that was the case of the girl we will talk to you about today, a poor innocent soul who had to suffer a real martyrdom.
The McCer family had recently moved to Florida from New Jersey. Mr. Raymond McC and his wife Jennifer were a husband and wife team of successful entrepreneurs and the owners of a new Beauty and Wellness Center that had just opened in Downtown Palm Beach. The couple had decided to move to the city for a change of scenery so they could closely oversee the opening and operation of their new business—a business that would soon begin to bring them much joy and generate thousands of dollars in a matter of weeks, as it happened to the previous centers they’d opened around the country.
However, there was also another reason why the McCeres wanted to move to a place with such a great climate as Florida: their six-year-old daughter, Rebecca.
Rebecca was the McC’s only child since, despite having tried in every possible way, the couple was unable to conceive anymore. However, although at the beginning the girl seemed to be born in perfect healthy condition and didn’t suffer any type of problem in development, when she was only 3 years old, the little girl suffered a strong urinary infection that ended up getting complicated and forced her to stay in the ICU of the New Jersey Hospital for almost a month.
Upon release from the ICU, the little girl seemed to be fully recovered and was eager to return home to play with her toys again. However, the return home would have to wait a little longer, as medical tests to monitor recovery detected a strange abnormality in the functioning of her bladder.
Apparently, the severe infection she’d suffered caused a strange disorder called overactive bladder that caused her bladder to suddenly compress, resulting in her needing to urinate urgently several times a day.
The disorder that little Rebecca suffers from is not serious, and there are no other symptoms that may bother the child, but she’ll need to change some things in her daily life in order to adapt to the new functioning of her urinary system. We’ll be able to control her evolution through medication but will never be able to make it disappear.
Keep in mind that children with this disorder can urinate up to eight times more than normal, and that their retention capacity will be low, so Rebecca will need to have access to the bathroom 24 hours a day; otherwise, the little one could end up peeing on herself with the discomfort that this entails, explained the family doctor to the McC’s after finding out about their daughter’s strange health problem.
‘And isn’t there anything you can do or we can do to improve the symptoms? Anything that’ll make the disease more bearable and make it less complicated to live a normal life? Anything, doctor? We just want to do what’s best for a little girl and keep her from growing up conditioned by this unexpected health problem,’ Jennifer McC asked in great distress as she realized that her life and her daughter’s life would change drastically.
‘The truth is there’s no effective alternative treatment for this disease, as it’s a recent disorder about which we still know very little. However, some colleagues comment that sufferers may feel better and suffer fewer spasms if they live in places with a tempered climate. Low temperatures and humidity are the main enemy of UTI, so living in a place with a stable climate all year round could help control their symptoms. I can’t tell you anything else; I’m sorry,’ the doctor explained in an attempt to encourage the girl’s parents and give them some ideas to improve their current situation.
The family was initially shocked by the news, and for the very first years after the diagnosis, they decided to continue living at home in New Jersey to begin to familiarize themselves with Rebecca’s new lifestyle and help her cope with all the symptoms she could develop. Therefore, it wasn’t until the girl was six that the McC’s decided to follow medical advice and took the big step of moving to Florida to try to improve the girl’s health while expanding their business across the country and multiplying their profits as a family business.
The change of scenery made everyone happy, especially the little girl in the house, as Rebecca loved the sea and spending time outdoors enjoying the Parisian beaches of the east coast, and it was one of the best therapies that helped her escape from her ailment.
‘Living here is great! I’ll never get tired of looking out my bedroom window at the ocean. This place is beautiful, Daddy,’ Rebecca said to her father, very excited, seeing that from her room she had a privileged view of the beach.
Unfortunately, all the joy of the first few weeks of living in Palm Beach would quickly fade away due to a terrible accident that would cause a six-year-old girl to experience one of the greatest humiliations of her life.
It all happened during Rebecca’s third day of school at one of the most prestigious nursery schools in the city, Belter Elementary.
Raymond McCer and his wife decided to enroll their daughter in that school because they thought that at such a prestigious place and one that everyone had spoken well of, they would be sympathetic to their daughter’s health problems and special needs. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort happened, and little Rebecca had to endure real torment.
The girl had made it through half a day’s classes and only had a couple of hours left to go home. She’d been feeling pretty good all week and had hardly any trouble holding back the urge to pee until the inevitable happened.
Rebecca was sitting at her desk during math class when she felt a sharp spasm under her belly. There were only 20 minutes left in the class, and she decided to wait because she thought she could control it, but she didn’t. The urge to urinate grew stronger, and after 5 minutes, the pain became unbearable.
Seeing it would be impossible for her to hold on, she raised her hand to ask permission to go to the bathroom, as she had been taught to do years ago at her old school. But the teacher made her wait, ignoring her request despite expressing it was urgent and knowing the girl’s condition.
This led to a very unfortunate incident for the girl, who, unable to stand it any longer, ended up urinating on herself, soiling her clothes in her seat. Unfortunately, the girl’s humiliation didn’t end there, and what happened next only made the situation worse.
After peeing herself, all the children in the class began to laugh at her, and the teacher did nothing to defend her. The girl, desperate at the inaction of the only adult present at the time, decided to run out of class to go to the school infirmary.
Unfortunately, the girl wasn’t wearing or had any spare clothes, but the school didn’t even call her parents to bring them. But what they did instead would make any parent lose their temper.
After getting cleaned up, the nurses handed her some school panties, but nothing else. That was all.
‘We’re not allowed to give you anything else, so for the moment, you’ll have to hold it like this until you get home, sweetheart. If you’d brought your own change of clothes, it would have been easier,’ that was the answer the nurses gave to the poor girl, who felt more and more humiliated.
Rebecca was forced to put back on the T-shirt she’d soiled herself in and didn’t even get a pair of pants to wear to get back to class and get on the school bus to take her home. She had to endure the humiliation of walking around the school in a dirty t-shirt and a pair of used panties that didn’t even fit her, and that’s so her father had to see her when the school bus arrived and his daughter got off with her head down and unable to stop crying.
‘Her father, suspecting what had happened when he saw the dirt stain on her shirt, immediately lifted up her clothes to see what happened. When he did so, he was livid to see his six-year-old daughter was not wearing pants. It was horrible, Dad! I don’t want to go back there ever!’ Rebecca shouted as she ran to hide in her house.
Mr. McCer wasted no time in going to the school in a fury to ask for an explanation of the state in which his daughter had returned home.
‘We thought the shirt she was wearing was long enough that we could put her on the school bus and send her home. The child should have brought her own change of clothes, sir. It’s not our responsibility to take care of that,’ the center director coldly replied to Mr. Raven when he accused the center of humiliating his daughter and leaving her totally abandoned.
Of course, that response was not enough for Raymond. He was determined to prove that the school had violated protocol with his daughter and make them pay for the unprecedented humiliation they’d put her through.
Raymond looked into the school’s handbook policy, a document long enough for other parents to refuse to have her skim through, but he knew that in that document was the answer he was looking for to do justice for his daughter and teach the school a lesson. And he found it.
After more than 2 hours of reading boring rules and school protocols, Raymond found the regulation regarding student dress, and there was the flaw he longed to find in the handbook. It said that shorts, skirts, or sweaters are acceptable if they’re within 4 inches above the knee.
After reading that, he set about measuring the shirt his daughter came home from in school to see if it conformed to the school dress code, and sure enough, it failed the test miserably.
‘They forced me to send her to school in clothes that meet their expectations, so why can’t they send my daughter home in clothes that meet theirs? As a school of such prestige, I’m surprised that you cannot provide your students with clean regulation-appropriate clothing in case of need. It is simply a disgrace, Madam Director. Your school is not worth the trouble, and I will make sure that everyone is aware of it,’ Mr. Raymond reproached the principal the next day after seeing the school still refuse to cooperate or offer an apology.
Mrs. McCer, who had also attended the school with her husband, also reproached the school for not even bothering to call them on the phone to let them know what was going on.
‘The school knew perfectly well that our daughter suffers from a serious illness and she needed to go to the bathroom. However, neither the teacher in charge at the time was able to act correctly, nor was the school able to do so afterward. I am deeply disappointed, and we will not let her mistake go unpunished,’ Jennifer McCer fiercely reprimanded the principal who remained silent.
Following the couple’s visit to the school and the threat to take the matter to court, Belter Elementary School issued a statement to local media stating that there were procedures and protocols in place when incidents of this type occur, and that they had invited the McCer family to speak about the internal investigation they were conducting. But the family declined the invitation and ignored any offer to settle things amicably.
A few weeks later, the MCC lawyers contacted the college to notify them there was an open judicial process against them and they would not ignore it as they had done with them.
Fortunately, the matter did not have to take longer, and the lawyers of both parties reached an amicable agreement to solve things. The Bel School agreed to publicly acknowledge their mistake and apologized to little Rebecca for the humiliation she suffered, although that wouldn’t free them from an exemplary disciplinary sanction and a subsequent inspection by the State Department of Education. And last but not least, the director of the center and the math teacher who prevented the girl from going to the bathroom were also immediately dismissed from their respective positions.
Little Rebecca could never forget what happened or how that made her feel, but she would know that her parents fought for her and managed to do justice on her behalf. Her life would continue to be complicated, and she would have to face many new challenges because of her illness, but she would always have the love and unconditional support of her parents to overcome them. There’s no greater gift than that.