My student had poop on his desk...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by heavens54, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Nov 6, 2014

    He's my difficult student. Single mom at home with young toddlers to worry about. Two or three different dads who are not in the picture. He's a very strange child. He seems to always be looking for his next opportunity to "be bad"...including trying to trip a child on crutches coming around the corner, and throwing a ball at another child's back for no reason. He's a menace. Most of the time he doesn't have recess, because he just can't be trusted. He steals things and lies about almost everything.

    So Tuesday the area around his desk smelled very bad. I thought maybe he had gas. But after he left, (you'll love this), I left the door open to air out the room and there were flies gathering all around his desk. Upon further investigation, come to find out that there was poop smeared on the sides of his desk.

    I told my principal, and she called the mom and explained the situation. My goodness, the child is 8. This was toward the end of the day, so we are thinking that maybe he had an accident, but how would it get out of his pants? Or would he do this on purpose? Anyone ever have experience with this issue? Thanks.
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Could you have your school counselor talk to him?
     
  4. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    I've had 2 very similar experiences in the past 5 years with sixth graders. The poop fell out of the leg of the pants in those cases.

    If it happens again, mom might want to consider a visit to the doctor. There are some medical conditions that can cause students to soil themselves during class, and social-emotional issues that prevent them from doing something besides sit in it.

    Good luck. It's not an enjoyable situation for the student, you, or the other students!
     
  5. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    In my experience, playing with fecal matter or smearing it around is a red flag for sexual abuse. This has been the case in almost every situation that I have seen. Watch him very closely...Something isn't right here. It sounds like he's crying out for attention.
     
  6. SF_Giants66

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    I'm mentoring an autistic child with ADHD in 6th grade after my field course is over at that school and he said he used to do that at daycare center and smeared it on the walls and tables when he was little and his mom's boyfriend would come and spank him with a belt and sometimes his mom would come up to the daycare to go spank him in the bathroom when he kept acting out.

    I've casually questioned if anything else is going on with him such as how his relationship with his mom is, and according to him after that boyfriend cheating on her, she hasn't had another boyfriend since and his mom treats him well. I kind of thought him openly sharing a story like that after only the 2nd time I met him when it happened that many years ago might have been him trying to say something, but I'm not lead to believe more that he probably just openly shares personal information the way I do sometimes because those of us who deal with autism often have trouble understanding social boundaries and pragmatics.
     
  7. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Mine,too.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Unfortunately this was my first thought as well. :(
     
  9. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    When I went to camp, I was quite the prankster. I took a Hershey bar, melted it under some hot water, and smeared it all over the toilet. Counselors got all upset, especially when I offered to lick it to see if it was mine.

    Now that I look back on it, that was so immature. But that's my only experience with poop issues, sorry!
     
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Thank you for the help you are providing to that child.
     
  11. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    It happened again. This time there was no way to hide it from the class. I discovered it as we were lining up to go home. Students were covering their noses by his desk. He was not in his desk but at the end of the line. I moved the box that he keeps his things in and underneath it was smeared poop. We went out front so my other students could get picked up. I had to hold on to his shirt otherwise he would run off. As we came back to the room, I asked the principal to come to my room. She did. We called the mother and she came over. The mother said that he's been having "accidents" at home also. She'll find poop on the side of dressers and walls. I told her this was "no accident". It's very disturbing.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 8, 2014

    Get your guidance counselor involved. This is very disturbing.
     
  13. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I'm very worried and concerned. Two things strike me, as others mentioned fecal accidents are a common symptom of sexual abuse.

    One thing that struck me is that you stated it was "no accident," do you feel he is doing it deliberately? If so, this could be a serious psychological issue.
     
  14. StarsofTommorow

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    Wow. Maybe the counselor/cps can provide services for possible neglect/abuse.
     
  15. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Yes, two possibly three days in a row. Mother says he's doing it at home. I gave it the benefit of the doubt first time that maybe it was an accident. Next day there was a smell, but I couldn't find any evidence. Third day, it can't be denied. He tried to say it was mud, but literally my entire class was covering their noses with their shirts.

    I'm not sure what to do. I did appreciate the principal coming to my room and talking with the mother. It just breaks my heart that there is something so wrong in this little persons' life. I do not know how to help.
     
  16. SF_Giants66

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    I'm confused now. Are you saying it definitely was no accident just because he tried to say it was mud, or because of another reason? If he lied and said it was mud, he might have just been very embarrassed.
     
  17. Froreal3

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    Nov 9, 2014

    It's one thing to have an accident (and accidents like this at his age would need to be seen by a dr.), but it's another thing to smear the accident everywhere. This child has some serious issues. He needs to speak with the counselor asap.
     
  18. SF_Giants66

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    The school psychologist is probably more useful than the guidance counselor here. He needs an assessment I think.
     
  19. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Yes. It's intentional. Yes, he lied about it. He lies, steals, bullies and misbehaves about ten times a day. I cannot trust anything he says or does. He tried to trip a handicapped girl as she came around the corner. I have to keep him in the back of the class so the others can learn. But this poop issue has stepped things up a bit. My entire class was repulsed by it. He should be embarrassed.
     
  20. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Nov 10, 2014

    I agree that a school psychologist needs to be alerted to this child. One of my campuses is having this same issue with a student, though he does not share any of the other behaviors as your student. I would also suggest to the mother to take the child to a doctor.
     
  21. TamaraF

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    Nov 10, 2014

    This is a very serious issue. Stop worrying about the other students being repulsed, do not encourage them to cover their noses, etc, or do anything else that will draw attention to this poor child. You think he should be embarrassed....there are huge issues here, and his embarrassment or lack thereof is minor. Call CPS or whoever you need to in order to get help for this child, ASAP.
     
  22. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    I got a call from Mom this morning, as I was preparing before school. She told me that she was not taking him to the dr. as she said she would on Friday. She said that he would be on meds today, she had them from last year. She said that these are accidents (different story from what she said on Friday and Wednesday last week) and that he's very upset. She was unhappy with me because I said that the issue was disturbing. I explained to her that if this is happening intentionally, that he is pooping in my class and spreading it on his desk, that was what I was referring to; the behavior. She says he is doing that the "hide" the accidents. She said that she couldn't control herself and had accidents herself until fifth grade.

    Honestly, this is about the fifth time that she's said that his behavior mirrors hers. I'm not sure why she says that. She also said that she doesn't like him being on meds, that she wants him to learn to control his own behavior. Well, that isn't happening. He's just too young to do it.

    I would absolutely NEVER encourage students to cover their noses or embarrass a student in front of the class. When they smell something so foul, it is a natural reaction to the smell, not because I brought any attention to it.

    With the meds, it was like night and day. He even passed his first mult timed test today. He's focused and sweet. He got his work done. We'll see if this lasts for a while. It will make a big difference to his educational experience...and ours.
     
  23. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    This. Who knows what is actually going on, but I would call CPS. As a state mandated reporter, you are to call and let CPS determine if there is something going on or not at home.

    Also, have you contacted the school's therapist?
     
  24. Ms.Blank

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    Nov 11, 2014

    Exactly. She's giving you weird explanations...it's out of your hands at this point. Report it and let them deal with it. If it's nothing, then nothing will come of it. If it's something bigger...well, then you did the right (and legal) thing.
     
  25. bros

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    The explanations are incredibly concerning.

    Contact CPS. This whole situation just doesn't sit right - let a trained individual sort out the situation.

    Like it COULD be something like a bowel/bladder issue that medicine can fix (or ADHD - as children with ADHD can have bowel control issues) but always err on the side of caution, especially when the parent gives dodgy explanations and changes their story.
     
  26. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Nov 11, 2014

    She's told you she's using an out-of-date prescription? That means that she hasn't taken him for follow-up appointments AND that she possibly withheld previous doses of that medication. This is sounding worse, even if his behavior improves.
     
  27. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    She is saying that because you are accusing this child of disturbing actions implying he is either severely mentally ill or abused in some manner. If it is true that she had similar problems as a child and is a functioning adult, every time you imply the child is disturbing, you are implying she was too. With ever implication of something being terribly wrong with her child (who has similar problems to her when she was a child) you also say it about her in her mind. That is her way of trying to tell you that he isn't "disturbed".
     
  28. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I won't go as far as catnfiddle by giving such a negative message as "withholding previous doses of that medication" because some medications have terrible side effects and also very heavy costs. There are many reasons parents and adults discontinue medication. I suspect that there is a reason she stopped giving medications.

    I hope she sees the light and does schedule a doctor's appointment for the child if the medication does show a positive change.
     
  29. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I agree that you should voice your concerns to CPS.
     
  30. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    So did I over step when I said that the behavior of taking ones own poop and smearing it on desks and floors during class time is disturbing, as the mother is saying that it is accidental? Does this sound like a child trying to hide an accident? And the mother said this was happening at home. And she said that it usually happens when he's upset about not getting his way. He told the P that he did it because he was upset that he did not get recess. She asked him why don't you get recess? He said because of what happened on Wednesday. I corrected him and said no, you didn't get recess because you haven't turned in four papers that were due by today. I never mentioned to him the first incident. I did give him the benifit if the doubt that it was a one time thing.
     
  31. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    To all; I appreciate your comments concerning this, matter. I'm truly in new territory here. Your help means a lot. I was surprised that the mom called yesterday morning with a very different story than what we have discussed all year about the extreme behavior of her son. But if she is willing to give him meds, this should make a huge difference for the future of this child. He is smart. He us cute. He has great potential to be a good student and learn so much this year. I told the mom that we both want the same thing; for her child to be happy and successful. And I mean that with all of my heart.
     
  32. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Hoping for the best. REALLY hoping his behavior changes. There's a chance the problem was in her holding back those meds.
     
  33. SF_Giants66

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    I would avoid the loss of recess as a consequence just because he might need that stimulation to help behave better in class. Taking away physically engaging activities doesn't seem to be helping him behave better if he is acting worse over it, and I only ever see losing recess as the logical consequence if they aren't behaving at recess.
     
  34. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Not behaving at recess has been a problem in the past. And yes, I am hopeful that the meds will really help him. His teacher from last year said that it made a huge difference.

    Why do parents hold back the meds when it does make such a huge difference for some children? I understand that we can overmedicate in today's world. But if it really helps your child learn academically and socially, why would a person deny it?
     
  35. SF_Giants66

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    I would maybe ask if his doctor made any changes in his medication, and if she said she did it herself, then tell her she really needs to talk to his doctor about that. If the doctor made the changes and you're saying that shouldn't have been done, it makes it seem as if you're trying to practice medicine.

    It seems as if this kid is a power struggle case. In that scenario, I wouldn't keep going on a hierarchy of more and more severe punishments to try and correct behavior. I guess start by making a list of what his triggers are and avoid the ones you can and try and find suggestions of alternative behaviors for the other ones.
     
  36. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Rebound effect can be terrible and not everyone overcomes it with time. If you have ever seen a kid having rebound from adhd meds, you may believe that not giving meds is the right thing to do. Cost. Not all families have the financial ability to pay for meds. Sure we can say that it is medication and you surely can find a way, but if the family is on their last dime, there is no place for the money to come from no matter how much we want it to be so. Weight loss and lack of appetite on adhd meds can cause major problems. Tics from adhd meds can be a problem also. Underlying anxiety can worsen on adhd meds as can other types of underlying issues of the brain.

    These are just a few symptoms adhd meds can cause. Getting a child regulated and on the right meds is expensive because if after a few days the meds really aren't right, you don't get your money back. You go back to the doctor for another costly visit and get another round of meds which is costly.

    Lots of reasons can cause a parent to stop giving adhd meds.
     
  37. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    I see. She said it was because she wants him to learn to control his own behavior. I thought that low income families got help with the meds. Is that wrong information?
     
  38. a2z

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    Not everyone that can't afford meds and doctors visits are "low income". Think about those families who are right above the cut off. They make too much for help but not enough to survive. Or families who had one person lose a job when they were financially living on two.

    I see what you say about mom wanting the child to learn to control his behavior. It really is a valid concern, but that won't happen without a lot of intervention from school and psychologists outside of school.
     
  39. SF_Giants66

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    That's strange that she would take him off his medication against medical advice. Just because he gets help from a pill means he isn't really controlling himself?
     
  40. hbcaligirl1985

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    Has there been an update?
     
  41. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Nov 15, 2014

    We had a great week, except that he was absent on Friday. I hope it was because she took him to the dr. He was on his meds all week. Night and day. Nice, sweet child. Wants to learn. Passed three times tables tests for the first time. Got checks on his planner, smiley faces and even a sticker.

    Mom now wants to call these evens accidents. So, OK, if that is what it takes to keep him on his meds, that's fine with me. Last week she said it was happening at home and that she thought it was disgusting. The child and I came up with a signal that he gives me. He puts his crossed fingers in the air and I nod. He used it only twice. We worked together this week. He went home smiling each day and proud of his achievements. I had a less stressful week. I'm hoping this lasts, for the sake of the child and his education.
     

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