When I first realized that all the toilets in our new building automatically flushed the general education teacher in me thought "Brilliant! No more interrupting a guided reading group to remind a kiddo to flush from across the room. A kiddo whose been in the bathroom a loooonnnggg time so you know that if you don't remind him to flush you'll be interrupted by the next student who goes into the bathroom and is disgusted by what they find. Those mid-reading announcements are learning buzz kills. "Ms. L!!! Johnny left something brown in the toilet and it's floattttinnngggg...." " Now try to get your little readers back on track.
Plus I am tired of getting dirty looks from my husband every time I ask him if he flushed. It's not my fault that anytime anyone comes out of a bathroom my first instinct is to ask them if they flushed and then check their hands to see if they are damp from being washed. You remind enough children to flush and wash their hands everyday you'll be doing it to total strangers too.
Then the special-ed teacher in me took over.
These toilets flush- automatically.
They make a big, whirring noise without anyone telling them it is acceptable to do so?
So, the child who is terrified of the loud noise in the bathroom- the child who would rather use diapers than have to flush the toilet- that child will now have NO control over whether or not the toilet suddenly decides to yell at him.
The child who previously would only be coaxed into the bathroom on the promise of not having to flush will now be forced endure the dramatic bathroom hurricane coming up behind her when she's done nothing to indicate to the toilet that she'd like it to take her business away.
Let's face it- the flush is about control. It's about saying, "OK, I'm done. Now be gone with you!"
"Now, I've decide it's time for you to make your loud poop-eating roar."
Yet now the toilet has the loud noise AND the control. And if you are in a battle with someone who is louder than you and has more control than you everyone knows that your best option of winning is clearly not to acknowledge your opponents existence.
Toileting training will go well this year I see.
*Also, how about all those poor gen-ed parents who previously benefited from their kids learning to flush the toilet at school? Now kids will just assume that all toilets flush for you. They'll hop off and run away without thinking twice- leaving a whole bunch of homes smelling like roses, I'm sure.