Mother Claims 8-Year-Old Son Was Forced to Urinate in Trashcan in Front of Class
The Los Angeles Unified School District said an investigation was underway
A mother accused staff at a Los Angeles school of forcing her third-grade son to urinate in a trashcan in front of his classmates and then wear a garbage bag to cover his wet clothes.
The boy's family was speaking out Thursday at a news conference after the incident allegedly happened a week earlier.
"There are children who are committing suicide because they are bullied for less than what has happened to our son," Sonia Mongol, the boy's mother, said at a news conference outside the Gramercy Park school.
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The boy's mother accused staff at Manhattan Elementary School at 18520 W. 96th Street of repeatedly refusing to allow her son to use the restroom. She was calling for the resignation of at least four staff members involved in the incident.
NBC4 reached out to the school, and did not receive comment. However, the Los Angeles Unified School District said an investigation was underway. The school district released the following statement, but did not offer specific comment on the incident: "Los Angeles Unified takes all matters 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. The District will also conduct an administrative investigation. Due to confidentiality laws, we cannot offer further details at this time."
Mongol said it began the week before when her 8-year-old son asked to use the restroom. Mongol said her son was told he would have to wait.
She said her son was getting to the point where he felt he may urinate in his pants, and allegedly the teacher told him to go in a trashcan in front of the classroom.
"He's a little kid. Why would you make a child expose himself in front of the classroom and then put a garbage bag on him when he came to you for help?" she said.
After splashing urine on himself, the boy went to the teacher, and a nurse. The family claims no one called his parents, and he was fitted with a garbage bag instead.
Mongol said her son spent the rest of the day walking around in a trash bag with urine on his clothes, while children mocked him.
Frustrated with the situation, Mongol shared photos on Facebook of her son in the garbage bag.
Community activist Najee Ali, of Project Islamic Hope, shared the images, garnering more attention and public outcry.
Mongol said the situation worsened at school in the days after the garbage bag incident, saying her son has been bullied by fellow students since.
Mongol said her family is not the only one to complain of strict restroom policies at the school. She even claimed that security monitors are posted outside restrooms at the school, and they refuse to let children in.
She also said she is seeking legal counsel, and has plans to remove her son from the school.
"There are four adults on his emergency card. Not one was notified," she said, at times fighting tears during the news conference.
Mongol said she became very emotional when she learned of the incident, because she said she was bullied as a child as well.
"I know what it's like to not want to go to school. A lot of times when you're a kid, no one takes you seriously," she said.