LOS ANGELES – The mother of an 8-year-old boy said her son was forced to sit in his own urine-soaked clothing and wear two plastic garbage bags after a teacher at a South Los Angeles school allegedly refused to allow him to use the restroom.
Sonia Mongol was joined by a former L.A. teacher and other supporters Thursday at a news conference at Manhattan Place Elementary School, where she called on school officials to clarify the incident in November in which Mongol’s son was allegedly prohibited from using the restroom during class.
When her son could no longer wait to go, Mongol said the teacher gave him the option of urinating in a trash can at the front of the classroom and “exposing himself in front of all the other students.”
“He went to the nurse’s office. He received no help,” Mongol said.
The boy was then given trash bags to cover his clothes, according to Mongol, who said she was not alerted her son remained at school wearing them. She said her son is being teased by other students, according to Newsweek, and other teachers have since denied him use of the restroom, as well.
Protesters went to the school office to demand changes, but the door to the office was not opened.
Retired teacher Latricia Mitchell said, while teachers can refuse a student’s request to go to the restroom – often because the privileges are abused – there are some exceptions.
“After they ask you twice, you should realize something is going on,” Mitchell said.
Officials with the Los Angeles Unified School District put out the following statement in response:
“Los Angeles Unified takes all maters concerning the safety and well-being of our students very seriously. Upon learning about this allegation, law enforcement was notified immediately and the District is fully cooperating in the investigation.”
Mongol said, after the school principal failed to respond to the allegations, she’s taking the matter to the school board for further review.
But, for Mongol, the damage done may already be irreparable.
“Why would you make a child expose himself in front of the classroom and then put a garbage bag over him when he came to you for help? Why would you treat a child that way?” she asked. “He’s a kid.”