Boy with weak bladder denied test break, dad says
Officials: Documented condition required for bathroom break during state test
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An outraged father said his son's school is forcing him to make an impossible choice: ignore his need to go to the bathroom or fail the state standardized test.
The father, who asked to be named only as Mr. Taylor, said his fourth-grade son suffers from a weak bladder, which causes him to have accidents at school.
He gave the school a doctor's note for his son to take bathroom breaks during the Florida Standards Assessment tests that rolled out this week, but he said administrators wouldn't accept it.
"I don't want him to be sitting there in the middle of testing and have an accident, embarrassing him in front of everybody," Taylor said. "And they said if he has an accident and leaves the room, he fails."
The boy would be automatically disqualified if he leaves the test room to use the restroom, Taylor said.
Administrators at Woodland Acres Elementary School said state law requires a diagnosis of a medical condition for a child to get bathroom breaks during the two-hour FSA tests.
"I went to the doctor and got the doctor to write a note stating to let him go to the bathroom whenever he needs, even during testing -- that was on the note, and I figure that was all," Taylor said.
But Taylor said school administrators spoke to him Thursday and said they needed to know his son's specific medical condition.
Administrators and a Duval County Public Schools spokesperson said they are working with Taylor and his son's doctor to get the right documentation to acknowledge his condition, then they can make accommodations
But Taylor still wants to know why a note from his doctor isn't enough.
"They shouldn't have to get all his medical conditions and everything," Taylor said. "There's no need for them to know that."
Right now, the school is waiting to hear back from the doctor's office. Once the doctor sends them the student's diagnosis, the school will be able to allow for extra testing time for the child.
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