An Arkansas kindergarten teacher was placed on administrative leave after a student said that she required him to dig in the toilet for feces to unclog it.
The Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) confirmed to The Hill this week that the teacher, who was unnamed in the release and local reports, was on administrative leave pending an investigation after the March 5 incident at Crystal Hill Elementary.
The 5-year-old’s mother, Ashley Murry, told Little Rock NBC affiliate KARK that her child told her the teacher made him dig in the toilet for his feces with his bare hands after saying he used too much toilet paper.
In response, she pulled her child out of the classroom, calling for the teacher’s termination.
“It’s degrading for a child, so I don’t feel like any child should have to go through this,” Murry told the outlet. “They basically made him go in the toilet and get his feces and the dirty tissue out of the toilet.”
Murry said she talked to the teacher on the phone, noting 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 how not to stop up the toilet.”
In a statement dated Tuesday, the PCSSD said its officials were “aware of an alleged situation” and “actively investigating.” The school district issued a separate statement on Wednesday saying it “understands the concern and outrage over the incident.”
“We take concerns related to the well-being of our students very seriously,” the statement said. “The health and safety of all of our students are always a priority. The human resources department continues to investigate the incident to ensure due process is afforded to all involved.”
Superintendent Charles McNulty released a statement saying, “When we have these events that touch our humanity and affect us deeply, they reach us, so personally, their root is institutional and systemic.”
“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,” he added.
—Updated 3/16 2:30 p.m.