Student ordered to unclog toilet with bare hands

December 4th, 2014 by Staff


(KEPRTV.COM) OTHELLO, Wash. – KEPR is looking into the actions taken against a teacher who ordered an eight year old to unclog a toilet with his bare hands.

The teacher is a veteran at Scootney Springs Elementary in Othello. The teacher admits he did it and was reprimanded, but parents are wondering if it was enough.

“I’m still speechless,” parent Lisa Adams said.

And that’s a likely reaction, even weeks after learning your son was forced to clean a public toilet without a plunger. 

Without gloves. 

With only his bare hands.

Artie and Lisa Adams’ learned about the incident while asking their son how his school day was.

“He said everything was good, but my teacher made me put my hand inside the toilet. We were like, what?!” Artie said.

The third grader had reported a clogged toilet to his teacher, Brent Taylor. According to records obtained from the Othello School District, Taylor ordered the eight year old to put his bare hands in the toilet and unclog it, saying, “it’s nothing I haven’t done before.”

The student followed orders.

“He did get made fun of, kids did see this happen, and he’s not going to go to that school,” Lisa said.

The district allowed the student to be transferred and ordered Taylor to review a safety course on hygiene. Taylor had taken that same course just two months ago.

The 23 year veteran got a warning letter and the case was closed.

But, in our investigation into Taylor’s record, we found Taylor has had two other reprimands in the last 16 months.

The other two involved inappropriately touching female high school students. Records show Taylor was put on leave last year after a teacher’s aide reported he roughly grabbed her arm in anger.

And earlier this school year another TA reported feeling uncomfortable when she said Taylor tickled the back of her neck. This incident was also mentioned in the letter of reprimand that was given for the barehanded toilet unclogging.

We spoke with Othello Superintendent George Juarez about whether this most recent incident merited a harsher punishment.

He would only say he stands by the principal’s decision on punishment. We also tried getting teacher Brent Taylor’s side, but he would not agree to an interview.

Reporter: “Do you guys think that this a severe enough reprimand?”
Artie: “No. Because if he did it to our child, how many other kids has he done that to?”

The State Superintendent’s Office has no plans to investigate the issue. Taylor remains on the job at Scootney Springs Elementary.

The union was made aware of all of the incidents and reprimands. They have all be marked on Taylor’s permanent record.


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