A 5-year-old Arkansas boy was forced to clean a clogged toilet with his bare hands by a kindergarten teacher, his mother claims.
Ashley Murry said the teacher at Crystal Hill Elementary School in North Little Rock called her after the alleged March 5 incident that her son also relayed to her, KARK-TV reported.
“She got on the phone with me and she said she didn’t have an explanation, she just knew she was wrong,” Murry said. “But she stated to the principal that she was trying to teach [him] how not to stop up the toilet.”
Murry has since pulled her son from the class and is now calling for the teacher — who has been put on administrative leave – to be fired.
“It’s degrading for a child, so I don’t feel like any child should have to go through this,” Murry told the station. “They basically made him go in the toilet and get his feces and the dirty tissue out of the toilet.”
Murry told KATV the teacher had her son clean out the commode because he used too much toilet paper.
The Pulaski County Special School District said Thursday officials have begun the legal process to terminate the teacher. The unidentified educator will have a hearing prior to any final disciplinary action.
“It is always our best intent to put the safety and well-being of our students as a top priority,” district officials said in a statement. “The district will work to ensure that its mission of equity and excellence is upheld by all professional staff at all times.”
The district’s superintendent, Charles McNulty, addressed the matter in a statement Wednesday, saying an investigation into the accusations was ongoing.
“When we have these events that touch our humanity and affect us deeply, they reach us, so personally, their root is institutional and systemic,” McNulty said. “Systemic racism, classism, sexism – they play in part of our daily lives, and sometimes these events overshadow who we are and who we need to be.”
Murry’s mother, meanwhile, said the explanation given to her daughter simply doesn’t hold water.
“You want a child to out their hand in there physically and clean out the commode? No, no, no, so,” Tami Murry told KARK-TV. “He’s not a janitor, he’s not a custodian, he’’s not maintenance. No, not at all.”