Student Forced To Urinate In Bucket Wins Lawsuit
Jan 27, 2017 11:35 AM EST
A California school district was ordered by the court in a lawsuit to pay $1.25 million to a former student who urinated in a bucket after she was denied a toilet break. The jury sided with the student who sued the San Diego Unified District and her Patrick Henry High School teacher.
According to BBC, the district denied the student's initial claim of $25,000, in which she said the incident led to lewd texts, depression and a suicide attempt. The facts of the case show that the student, who was 14 years old at the time, claimed she was attending an advisory class when the teacher refused her much-needed toilet break. The teacher then took her to a supply room where she could privately urinate in a bucket and dump the contents in a sink. Teachers were instructed that the 25-minute advisory class periods would be undermined by frequent bathroom breaks but Gonja Wolf took a strict interpretation of the rule.
In a lapse of judgment the teacher thought that was a good idea, the school's district attorney claimed. Thereafter, Wolf was put on paid administrative leave while investigations were done. But when word got out of her urinating in a bucket, the student was mercilessly teased and forced to transfer schools twice. Widespread media coverage, with internet reports from Pakistan to UK and television news crews showing up at her home and school, scared the girl who ultimately attempted suicide. Until now, the student still goes to therapy to work through the post-traumatic stress.
Aside from damages incurred, the court awarded the student $41,000 to cover the past and current medical expenses. Currently, at 19 years old, the student earned her diploma from a charter job and has a job. Her attorney said that she is very happy that her voice was heard and that the jury was fair and reasonable. The school apologized to the student and her mother and clarified to teachers that bathroom breaks were permitted. Meanwhile, the school district was disappointed with the verdict and is considering to file an appeal.