This punishment really stinks.
City education officials are investigating charges that a Bronx middle school disciplined students by making them clean toilets, a military-style punishment flush with problems.
"It was gross. I did not want to do it," said Randy Estevez, 14, an eighth-grader at In-Tech Academy in the South Bronx.
Instead of detention, Estevez and another student were assigned janitorial duties, including cleaning up feces, for a couple of hours on two days last fall, he told the Daily News.
His offense, he claimed, was disrupting class. "My teacher was saying I was behaving badly," he said.
The punishment was confirmed by a staff member, who called it an example of "months of abuse" at the school, and said the administration had written off the corporal punishment "as being 'legal' because permission was supposedly granted by the parents."
Contacted by The News, In-Tech Academy Principal Rose Fairweather-Clunie at first denied kids had been sentenced to toilet-bowl cleaning duties.
"Someone's on a mission. This is so untrue," she said, before calling back to say, "It's under investigation."
Mom Sarah Estevez, 46, said she found out about Randy's punishment after the fact, but added she didn't mind because it taught her son to behave.
"I think it's okay. He learned his lesson," Estevez said in Spanish. "It's the only way he's going to learn. Now, next time he wants to misbehave, he'll think about the punishment and behave better."
Another mother whose son also was subjected to bathroom duty said she objected strenuously.
"I don't agree with that punishment. It's degrading. It's not the right punishment for an educational institution," said Cindy Rodriguez, 37, of the Bronx. "They need to find other forms of punishment."
Education Department spokeswoman Marge Feinberg said officials are investigating.
"There is an active investigation of corporal punishment," said Feinberg. "If the current allegations are proved true, appropriate actions will be taken."
Over the years, the city has investigated unusual and sometimes cruel punishment cases, including a teacher lobbing a book at a misbehaving kid, another duct-taping special education students to their chairs and a dean taking away hot lunches and replacing them with peanut butter sandwiches.
While I do believe such a punishment should have gotten parental consent, I have some issues with the lady who says it's degrading. Doesn't she clean the toilets in her own house? Doesn't her child have chores?
Children in Japan clean the school as part of a normal day, and that does include bathrooms. I've had to clean a public bathroom as part of a job. I see nothing wrong with it as long as you're given the proper protective gear if you're using abrasive chemicals, though I do wonder exactly what the 14 year olds were given to clean, and if they were supervised.
Like I said, I AGREE the parents should have been asked, but this parent's attitude has me boggled.
And I'm VERY confused as to using the term "corporal punishment." That means physical pain inflicted, basically. I see nothing on the wiki as to indicate the meaning has changed since I was in fourth grade and paddling was explained to me.