An Arkansas mother says her five-year-old son’s kindergarten teacher made him unclog a school toilet with his bare hands. Now, she wants the teacher fired.
Ashley Murry told NBC affiliate KARK that her son, Ashton, informed her that his teacher, Karla Lasiter, “made him go in the toilet and get his feces and the dirty tissue out of the toilet.” Murry has since pulled her son from the classroom.
The incident occurred at Crystal Hill Elementary School in North Little Rock, Arkansas. On Tuesday, the Pulaski County Special School District announced that they’re investigating the incident. But that hasn’t stopped Lasiter from trying to make things right on her own.
It didn’t go well.
“[Lasiter] 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 how not to stop up the toilet... She needs to be terminated because you don’t treat kids like this. He is a kid.”
The fact that Ashton is Black and Lasiter is white has not gone unnoticed, but Murry said she didn’t want to say whether race was a factor or not. And this isn’t the first time this has happened at Crystal Hill Elementary. A local Fox affiliate reports that another mother complained that their daughter was subjected to this same treatment in the fall by another teacher; a complaint was made to the school district, and the mother was told that there would be an investigation. She wanted to remain anonymous, and the race of both the child and teacher is unknown.
It’s unclear whether this is an example of systemic racism at an Arkansas public school or just a couple of foolish teachers who think that forcing children to retrieve their own feces from a clogged toilet is the best way to teach them a lesson is anyone’s guess. Either way, parents have gone to war for far less than having their children degraded over the limitations of septic tanks.
A GoFundMe has been set up to fund counseling for Ashton and potential legal fees against the Pulaski County Special School District.