A former teacher who was part of the Noble Network Charter Schools in Chicago came forward to reveal that some of the schools' policies were "dehumanizing."
In response to NPR's report about some of the charter schools' strict disciplinary policies, an anonymous student confirmed in a text to NPR that menstruating girls are given infrequent bathroom breaks and often wind up bleeding through their pants.
The solution? Have them conceal the stain with a sweatshirt wrapped around their waist.
Wow: At a network of Chicago charter schools, bathroom breaks are so infrequent that girls regularly bleed through… https://t.co/054v9W6x3x— Jessica Roy 🦅 (@Jessica Roy 🦅)1525124670.0
In the text to NPR, the student described the unpleasant result of the bathroom policy.
We have (bathroom) escorts, and they rarely come so we end up walking out (of class) and that gets us in trouble. But who wants to walk around knowing there's blood on them? It can still stain the seats. They just need to be more understanding.
Unchanged tampons can result in a life-threatening bacterial infection called toxic shock syndrome, yet the female students aren't granted frequent privileges to change their feminine hygiene products.
@jessica_roy Pads or tampons should do the trick should you choose to use them. Seems every other female with whom… https://t.co/ZPDBSLQQaS— Chad (@Chad)1525141493.0
@mR_Irrelevant21 Do you really, truly not know that it's possible to bleed through pads and tampons, and that they… https://t.co/BOcIyHEa2l— Jessica Roy 🦅 (@Jessica Roy 🦅)1525141635.0
As a compromise, girls with blood stains are granted permission to tie a Noble sweater around their waist and are reported by the administration via email to staff so the students don't receive demerits on violating dress codes.
The anonymous former faculty member who described the schools' "dehumanizing" policy commented.
One student says it best, 'When you treat us like animals, what do you think we are gonna act like?'
@WUISEdDesk @jboyolee @esbranson @jessica_roy @IllinoisDCFS @BeNobleSchools Trust me, every kid & every adult in th… https://t.co/Xbo7fhnKD4— Diana Joy (@Diana Joy)1525144695.0
The charter schools' strict policy drew public scrutiny, making Noble president Constance Jones Brewer dismiss unspecified parts of NPR's report as "exaggerated or plainly false."
Brewer sent an email to staff members:
I've seen how our leaders and staff continue to break new ground, push each other's thinking, and improve the Noble experience every year. So, while I acknowledge our imperfections, I also celebrate our willingness and flexibility to hold each other accountable and get better. And I just don't see the Noble that I know and love reflected in this article.
@jessica_roy @MoJohn8510 This is a despicable violation of Title IX (and likely state law). Please tell me they hav… https://t.co/SZfRWoCHN9— Jessica Lee (@Jessica Lee)1525132983.0
@jessica_roy @MoJohn8510 Still mad about this. I just realized that aside from the trauma and negative impact on t… https://t.co/6XP5tyfzpQ— Jessica Lee (@Jessica Lee)1525139674.0
Some people defended Noble's policy, including Chicago-based actor, Ashley J. Dearborn, who claimed she worked with Noble CEO and Superintendent Michael Milkie when he co-founded his first charter school.
On Noble's Facebook page, Dearborn commented on the conditions that can benefit the predominantly black student body.
Mr. Milkie believed if given the right conditions, these Black and Brown kids could excel and compete with the best. They have. In order to achieve this, stringent rules and regulations were developed.
But an overwhelming majority spoke out against the potentially harmful school policy on Twitter.
These schools' defense is often something like "students need to be disciplined to be prepared for college / the re… https://t.co/6Sh2eUDPIs— Jessica Roy 🦅 (@Jessica Roy 🦅)1525125243.0
@jessica_roy Exactly. I work in the non-profit sector, focus on those who work with public schools and/or are youth… https://t.co/8eLL81Ck2S— PJLM (@PJLM)1525127032.0
@jessica_roy ...but research shows it is a lack of SUPPORTIVE adults in kids lives that is a big piece of puzzle. I… https://t.co/I3Tp1PoVKc— PJLM (@PJLM)1525127239.0
@jessica_roy A pediatric urology specialist told me she's seeing an increase in kidney issues in young children bec… https://t.co/qp3fnaI63s— ProudTVJunkie (@ProudTVJunkie)1525132354.0
@ProudTVJunkie @jessica_roy I can't wrap my head around why this would ever be a policy... anywhere.— Families belong together (@Families belong together)1525134031.0
@zebraheadphones @HAJ_1952 @danahaswell @ProudTVJunkie @jessica_roy I have interstitial cystitis. It’s not fun. Sic… https://t.co/iat0hMormz— IntoTheVoidScreaming ✨ (@IntoTheVoidScreaming ✨)1525187769.0
@jessica_roy Not a joke: my wife once worked at a charter school where it was policy to refuse children bathroom br… https://t.co/THwIwm232b— Sean Brooks (@Sean Brooks)1525126459.0