LOS ANGELES, California — Sonia Mongol says her son was not allowed to go to the restroom at his South Los Angeles school and instead had to wear two plastic garbage bags and sit in his urine-soaked clothing, according to CNN affiliate KCAL.
Mongol talked about the alleged incident in November during a news conference at Manhattan Place Elementary School Thursday. She said her 8-year-old son was not allowed to use the restroom during class. Mongol called on school officials to clarify what happened.
The district told CNN in a statement Thursday that it is conducting an investigation.
“Los Angeles Unified takes all matters concerning the safety and well-being of our students very seriously,” a Los Angeles Unified School District spokesperson said. “Upon learning about this allegation, law enforcement was notified immediately, and we are fully cooperating in the investigation. Los Angeles Unified is also conducting an administrative investigation. Due to confidentiality laws, we cannot offer further details at this time.”
What she says happened
Mongol said after her son asked to go to the bathroom, the teacher told him that he could instead urinate in a trash can at the front of the classroom, “exposing himself in front of all the other students.”
He got urine on himself and was given trash bags to cover his wet clothes, Mongol said. She also claims she was not told that he would have to spend the rest of the day wearing them.
Retired teacher Latricia Mitchell joined Mongol at the news conference and she told reporters that teachers can refuse to let students leave to go to the restroom under certain circumstances. But there is common sense and good judgment.
“After they ask you twice, you should realize something is going on,” Mitchell said.
Mongol said teachers have denied her son permission to use the restroom since the incident, KCAL reported, and that since the principal did not adequately respond to the claims, she will be taking the issue to the school board.
Mongol said that her son is now being bullied because of the incident, according to the station.
“Why would you make a child expose himself in front of the classroom and then put a garbage bag over him when he came to you for help? Why would you treat a child that way?” she asked. “He’s a kid.”