Humiliation remembered
S.B.'s letter to PTAVE, November 8, 2005

November 8, 2005

Mr. Jordan Riak, Executive Director
Parents & Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE)
P. O. Box 1033
Alamo, CA 94507-7033

Dear Mr. Riak

I read some of your articles about children in school being denied permission to use the restroom. However, many of them I could not read completely because I got very upset and sick to my stomach. Why? Because I went through it with my third grade teacher in 1973.

My parents also told me that schoolteachers can do no wrong, and they are to be respected no matter what. My third grade teacher (Mrs. Jean Martin) who lived six houses away knew my mother, and took full advantage of this. Furthermore, she was also my Sunday school teacher. In church she was well respected and highly regarded as a model Christian. But she did have a dark side that few people wanted to face. One of the things she did to me as well as other students (and got away with) was denying me permission to use restroom. When I could not possibly hold it in any longer, she would make me stand up in front of the class and wash the blackboards (or some other water related task). Needless to say, I urinated in my pants while the class was watching. I felt very ashamed and embarrassed. After my bladder was empty, she then gave me permission to go to the restroom and clean myself up. This happened many times. When I told my mother about it, all that she said was "Oh,you kids are all alike. You think teachers are mean unless they're a push over." Or, "You've got to learn to hold it in." I would say, "How long am I suppose to hold it in?" And she would respond "Just shut up and hold it in." Other times she said things like, "All the other children think Mrs. Martin is the best teacher there is. Why are you the only one that badmouths her? You should be ashamed of yourself, talking like that about a Christian woman just because she made you pee yourself in school." Many times during tests, and even during recess, I would squat down, wiggle, jiggle, and squeeze my legs together, what ever I had to do to avoid an accident. Unfortunately, the results were often disastrous and embarrassing. This happened in many different elementary grades, but third grade was by far the worst.

There are many other damaging things that happened to me as a child. Those are just a few of the incidents. But one thing I kept in the back of my head was that I couldn't tell my parents anything vital out of fear of being spanked.

I want to help stop this from happening to other children. Please send me any information you may have about your organization, and what I can do to help support it.

Your organization is the answer to a 30-year-long prayer. Keep up the good work. Thank you so much in advance, and may God richly bless you.


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