After a young boy got into trouble, an elementary school forced him to join the janitor in cleaning the bathroom. However, the child’s angry mother is demanding the school apologize to her son for a punishment that she says crossed the line.
Any good parent understands that if schools don’t have the authority to dole out discipline, there’s no way to maintain control of the student body. When an elementary school issued a punishment that perfectly fit the crime, Christa Lee was less than enthusiastic about the creative disciplinary method.
During school hours, her 8-year-old son and his friends decided to cause some mischief in the restroom, as young boys are sometimes known to do. Left to their own devices, the children conjured up an unwanted sweater, stuffed it into the commode, and gave it a flush. Of course, their curiosity turned to surprise when the toilet immediately backed up, flooding the bathroom.
In reference to the boys’ actions, Canadian school officials decided that the youngsters should help clean up the mess they created, which would involve assisting the on-duty custodian with tending to the flooded facilities. However, Christa Lee was fuming not over her son’s behavior but the school’s response.
She criticized teachers at Sister MacNamara elementary school in Winnipeg for having her son, Cruz, clean the bathroom that he helped wreck, CTV News reports. She claims that she only heard about the punishment after her son mentioned his unusual duties that day.
“We were talking and he says, ‘Oh I had to clean those bathrooms, they were really gross,’ and I asked ‘What bathrooms did you have to clean?” Lee told CTV News Winnipeg, recalling the conversation she had with her son.
“I had to clean the toilets and stuff, downstairs and upstairs,” Cruz said.
Lee explained that she was shocked and outraged that the school would have students assist in a duty that belongs to the janitors. Regardless of her son’s actions, she believes that a reprimand related to extra-curricular functions would have sufficed.
“I’m all for consequences like missing recess, but the fact that he had to clean bathrooms that 300 kids use, makes me so angry,” she said.
Lee quickly went to the media to expose the school for a punishment that she thinks crossed the line. Additionally, she is demanding that the school apologize to her son for forcing him to miss recess while cleaning up the mess he and his friends made.
Despite Lee’s demand, the Winnipeg School Division doubled down on its decision to make Cruz clean up his own mess. In fact, the spokesperson explained that the boys weren’t forced to clean the entire bathroom, as it had been rumored.
“They were given the gloves and options they could do – cleaning the sinks or wiping the counters. One of the options was to clean a toilet,” said Radean Carter, senior information officer with the WSD.
Carter reiterated that the punishment was very well thought out and wasn’t intended to be more than the children could handle at their age. She added that the task was meant to teach the boys a lesson they wouldn’t get from being forced to miss out on school activities.
“They were just seeing some of the small things they could do to help clean up the mess that they had caused. Having someone write lines doesn’t give them the opportunity to understand the impact of what they did,” Carter said.
Lee insists that the school should apologize to her son and refrain from making students clean school property in cases in which they cause damage. However, she doesn’t appear to be getting her apology anytime soon, as the school continues to defend the decision.
Schools are finding it more and more difficult to discipline children solely because of the parents’ opposition to such actions. Sadly, it creates an atmosphere in which teachers struggle to gain control and generations of young people who know that they don’t have to respect certain authority.