WHAM reports that Ashley Murry’s 5-year-old son told her his kindergarten teacher made him clean out the toilet because he had used too much toilet paper. Her son attends Crystal Hill Elementary School in North Little Rock. “This is unacceptable,” she told the news outlet.
Murry notified the school principal about the situation and enrolled her son in a different class. The teacher has since apologized but Murry doesn’t think that’s enough. “I feel like she needs to be trained, suspended, or terminated or something because that’s unacceptable,” she said. “I want my son to be in a safe environment, a good environment.”
“She got on the phone with me and she said she didn’t have an explanation, she just knew she was wrong. But she stated to the principal that she was trying to teach how not to stop up the toilet,” she told KARK.
The school’s district issued a statement saying it is “actively investigating” the incident, and that the teacher is on administrative leave. The statement continues, “Employees across the district work hard every day to create an environment where students feel safe and protected.”
The boy’s grandmother Tami Murry wrote about the situation on Facebook. “I want this teacher to never ever do this to another black male student again!!!” she wrote. “This child is 5 years old in kindergarten!!! He is a young black male and this was done to degrade him, belittle him, and it will cause him to have anxiety, he keeps telling everyone what happened!!!”
She added, “I don’t know if it’s racism or pure dislike for him, but something isn’t right.”
Tami told KARK, “You want a child to put their hand in there physically and clean out the commode—no, no, no, no, no. He’s not a janitor, he’s not a custodian, he’s not maintenance, no, not at all.”
Ashley said she doesn’t “want to say” whether the incident had anything to do with her son being Black.
A different mother from the school has come forward to say that another teacher also made her daughter do the same thing. The school said they would launch an investigation after the mother reached out. “This is a common occurrence at this school it seems,” the mother said. “I told them, ‘I pay my taxes so you can have janitors at the school, not kids unclogging toilets.’”