A lawsuit filed by the parents of an 8-year-old boy alleges that a teacher disallowed their son to use the bathroom and made him pee into a trashcan in front of his classmates before he urinated on himself, soaking his clothes in the process.
The incident happened last November when the boy was attending Manhattan Place Elementary School in South Los Angeles in the Los Angeles Unified School District when he initially approached his teacher to use the bathroom and was told that he was not allowed. He then allegedly approached the teacher a second time and was told to pee in the trashcan, according to ABC News’ Los Angeles station KABC.
“Instead of just letting him go, the teacher told him to urinate in a trashcan that was in the classroom and in front of his classmates,” said the family’s attorney Toni Jaramilla in a press conference last week.
The suit says that he urinated on himself during that process and soaked his clothes and, later that day, went to his after-school enrichment program where the incident was made worse by another employee.
“He went to another teacher to try to receive help and she proceeded to place a garbage bag on him to make an example out of him of what you should not do at school, instead of calling us and saying ‘can you please bring him a change of clothes,’” said the boy’s mother Sonia Mongol at the press conference.
“That employee, for whatever reason, placed two trash bags on the boy which caused further embarrassment,” said Jaramilla.
The suit alleges that a third incident happened 4 months later in March of this year when the boy asked a substitute teacher to use that bathroom and then locked him out of the classroom.
The boy has been transferred out of Manhattan Place Elementary to another school but his mother says he still talks about the incident.
"He doesn't understand why when he went to adults for help they would do this to him, so it's had a lasting effect on him," Mongol said.
Mongol also said she was never notified about the incident by the school and is seeking damages for extreme negligence and creating a hostile environment.
“There really needs to be some kind of training and sensitivity -- and just compliance -- with what the school board implements, or puts out there, with regards to allowing access to bathrooms,” Jaramilla said.
The school district says it notified law enforcement when it first learned of the allegation and is conducting an administrative investigation, according to KABC.
The district added in a statement obtained by KABC that while it does not comment on pending litigation, “the Los Angeles Unified School District remains committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all students.”