Student ordered to unclog toilet with his bare hands (VIDEO)

Dec 4, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Image: Fox 4 News

A Washington teacher allegedly told one of his third-grade students to clear a clogged toilet by himself. That's messed up to begin with (isn't that an adult's job?), but it's way more wrong when you discover the teacher told him to use his bare paws to do it.

The boy attends Scootney Springs Elementary School in Othello, Washington, and when his parents asked him about his day at school, he mentioned that he had been asked to essentially plunge a toilet with his bare hands.

In response, the school superintendent chose to reprimand the 23-year teaching veteran named Brent Taylor. Oh, and he will also be reviewing a hygiene course, because toilets are dirty and maybe children shouldn't be told to stick their hands in them. The child was transferred to another school at the request of his mom and dad, but Taylor will remain employed at Scootney Springs.

His parents feel this "punishment" is way too light, and I completely agree. While he didn't physically batter the child, his request was abusive. I don't know if the school employs maintenance personnel (it's possible they don't), but I can't imagine a scenario where it's expected that a child be asked to clear a clogged toilet in the first place. Surely that's the job of an adult. Surely.

So, not only do we have a child doing something that an adult should be doing, but toilets are gross. People poop in toilets, which is likely how it got clogged in the first place, and they are loaded with bacteria. I would never be OK with sticking my hands in a toilet, and if some jackass teacher asked my kid to do it, I'd probably be close to blowing my stack. "It's nothing I haven't done before," he reportedly told the boy. Because that totally makes it right.

And the even more ridiculous thing is that it can be pretty difficult (impossible, even) to unclog a toilet with your hands in the first place. What do you do? Try to snake your arm in there and fish around for a mess of poop and toilet paper? Doesn't that turn your stomach just reading that?

I would honestly question a teacher asking a child to use a plunger (one of my kids managed to get poop water all over the bathroom with his first attempt — it's an acquired skill), but telling a child to use his hands is not only pointless, it's downright cruel.

Investigation into Taylor's record revealed that he has two other reprimands over the last 16 months, which makes his punishment even more ridiculous. In one incident, a teaching assistant reported him for grabbing her roughly, and another said that she felt uncomfortable when he tickled the back of her neck.

The superintendent says that he stands by the principal's decision, but I agree with the boy's parents — this teacher needs more punishment, and with his track record, I wonder if he needs to find a different job that doesn't involve supervision of children.

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