The Berkeley Unified School District has recently come under fire for its discipline practices. Apparently at LeConte Elementary School, children were being made to clean the school bathrooms as potential punishment. For one student, this punishment caused a health issue when he developed whooping cough.
Elementary school student Ishmael Perry, age 11, was accused of participating in a bullying incident of a young girl during an after school program. Although Perry protested stating he was just a bystander, he was punished anyway. He was given the choice of being suspended from school or cleaning the school bathroom, two hours a day for two weeks. Rather than let his mother find out he was in trouble, he chose to clean the bathrooms.
It was after six days of performing this task that Ishmael became sick and had contracted whooping cough. His mother, Magdalene Kingori, was outraged at the punishment and the fact she was not notified that her son was performing this task. She told KCBS news “Why is cleaning bathrooms an option? It should never happen. He was compromised. He was touching pee pee for a week and now he’s sick!”
Kingori took her complaint all the way to the district superintendent, who said that discipline was inappropriate, and students will no longer be punished that way. But the district refuses to discuss the case and considers the matter closed. Kingori however is not satisfied and she intends to pursue further action.
You can see the video of her son’s story by following this link.