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Monday, April 6, 2015

Jennifer Rehn-Losquardo, Principal of UES Middle School IS 67, Wagner, Believes in One Visit to the Bathroom Per Day

Parents often hear the Latin term "in loco parentis" when they are told about the duties and responsibilities of principals and teachers in their child's school.


"The term in loco parentis, Latin for "in the place of a parent"[1] refers to the legal responsibility of a person or organization to take on some of the functions and responsibilities of a parent. Originally derived from English common law, it is applied in two separate areas of the law.
First, it allows institutions such as colleges and schools to act in the best interests of the students as they see fit, although not allowing what would be considered violations of the students' civil liberties.[1]
Second, this doctrine can provide a non-biological parent to be given the legal rights and responsibilities of a biological parent if they have held themselves out as the parent.[2]
The in loco parentis doctrine is distinct from the doctrine of parens patriae, the psychological parent doctrine, and adoption.[3] In the United States, the parental liberty doctrine imposes constraints upon the operation of the in loco parentis doctrine.[3]
As an advocate who represents parents at Impartial Hearings where I ask for tuition for non-public schools as well as various services for children with special needs. I had not heard of the variation in bathroom policies which affect children of all ages in New York City until a recent hearing for a child now removed by her parents from Robert F. Wagner Middle School IS 67 at 220 East 76th Street in NYC.
IS 67 Principal Jennifer Rehn-Losquardo seems to believe that "Whole School" and "Whole Class" is more important than "Whole Child".

Above is a copy of the Wagner Middle School bathroom pass. Each student receives one at the beginning of the school year, carries it around with them, can leave it on their desk, show each other, etc. For each day in the school week there are boxes which are to be signed by the teacher if the student has to use the bathroom outside of lunchtime.

IS 67 Principal Jennifer Rehn

If a student is taking medicine and must go to the bathroom more often, Principal Rehn says, then a "special pass" is given. This reporter spoke to several parents who were not told about this, and their children are on medication. The NYC Department of School Health has never heard of a school policy like this, and told me that Ms. Rehn is "doing this on her own".
But that's not all that Ms. Rehn does to maintain control.
If one student acts up, the entire class gets detention, even on religious holidays. Parents are told nothing and are kept outside on the sidewalk for an extra 10-20 minutes after the school day, until the whole class is dismissed from detention - where they are told to sit and do nothing.
Chancellor Farina - how do these policies work to keep the students healthy, happy and safe?

Betsy Combier

Teachers Fight Special Needs Accommodation

A teachers group is fighting a plan to allow a student with a disability to use a faculty restroom, all because they say the accommodation violates their right to exclusive facilities.
Eighteen teachers — including two special educators — signed a petition filed alongside a union grievance after administrators opted to allow a student at Park Elementary School near Pittsburgh to use the faculty restroom, reports thePittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The student has a physical limitation, school officials say, which makes it difficult for the child to climb stairs needed to access the student facilities. The school’s bottom floor does not have a student restroom nor is there elevator access.
Teachers at the school argue the plan violates a provision of their contract stating that the school will provide “lavatory facilities exclusively for employees’ use.”
School officials, however, say the building has other faculty-only restrooms and the district has an obligation to “meet the needs of students with disabilities.”
The Steel Valley school board voted unanimously Thursday night to deny the teachers’ grievance and allow the student to use the faculty restroom, the Post-Gazette reports.
(Updated: March 27, 2015 at 10:30 AM CT)

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