BERKELEY (KCBS) – The Berkeley Unified School District will no longer make students clean up bathrooms as a form of discipline, after complaints from the parents of a fifth grade boy.
11-year-old Ishmael Perry said he was just an innocent bystander when a classmate at LeConte Elementary used bullying language in the afterschool program, but he was threatened with suspension anyway.
Instead, he chose to clean up the school bathrooms for two weeks, until his mother found out, six days into the punishment.
“Why is cleaning bathrooms an option? It should never happen,” said Magdalene Kingori, Ishmael’s mom.
Kingori said her son came down with whooping cough and missed four days of school.
“He was compromised. He was touching pee pee for a week,” she said. “And now he’s sick!”
She took her case all the way to the district superintendent, who said that discipline was inappropriate, and students will no longer be punished that way. But the district refuses to discuss the case with KCBS and considers the matter closed.
“We want a thorough investigation by the district,” Kingori said. “We want to hold someone responsible. Our son’s health was compromised.”
Adding insult to injury, Ishmael is also barred from Wednesday’s year-end Field Day, even though he insists, he did nothing wrong.