It’s deeply despairing to be continually reminded of how inhumanely Black children are likely to be treated in this country.
On the heels of the news that a 13-year-old middle schooler in Plano, Texas, underwent racist bullying—including allegedly being forced to drink urine by his classmates—comes an Arkansas family’s complaint that a kindergarten teacher made their child dig through a toilet clogged with feces.
Ashley Murry of Little Rock, Arkansas, shared the disturbing allegations with KARK News on Tuesday, saying her 5-year-old son was made to put his bare hands in a dirty toilet by his teacher at Crystal Hill Elementary School after it was clogged up.
“It’s degrading for a child so I don’t feel like any child should have to go through this,” said Murry.
According to a post made by the child’s grandmother on Facebook, the teacher allegedly made the boy put his hand in the toilet “and clean out his feces and tissue” because he had clogged it.
Anyone who could do that to a child, not to mention any teacher who could do that to a child in their classroom, is a person with a deep streak of cruelty and sadism in my opinion. Both those traits are historically related to racism, and the child’s grandmother raised the issue of his race in her response to the egregious incident.
“This child is 5 years old in kindergarten,” Tami Murry posted. “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.”
The Murrys are now calling for the teacher’s termination. Speaking of calling, the child’s mother said the teacher talked to her on the phone about the incident.
“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,” said Murry.
She didn’t have an explanation. Luckily, I have a few—see the earlier mentions of cruelty, sadism and racism.
The Pulaski County Special School District told The Root in a statement that the teacher is on administrative leave pending an investigation of the incident. They would not disclose the name of the teacher, who uncorroborated reports online have identified as a white woman, citing district policy for “disciplinary personnel matters.”
“Employees across the district work hard every day to create an environment where students feel safe and protected,” the statement from the school district said.
It sure doesn’t sound like that’s the case.
We’ll continue to follow this story, and we have reached out to the family to see if they plan to take any further steps in demanding accountability for the horrendous treatment of the young child.