Urinating in Class – Teacher Absolved
Posted by shadmia on May 2, 2007
Michael Patterson, 14, a student at C. M. Goethe Middle School in Sacramento City, was suspended for 5 days for urinating in class. He claims that his teacher Peter Stanzler refused to allow him to leave the class, threatening him with suspension. According to Patterson the teacher told him to take an empty bottle and relieve himself in a corner of the classroom. The teacher was put on paid leave and will be reassigned to another school. An investigation of the whole incident was promised by school officials.
At the conclusion of the investigation the officials “found that the teacher did not instruct, direct or encourage the student to do anything inappropriate. The teacher did not threaten the student with suspension or discipline.” The prepared statement also added:
“As a normal rule, in order to maximize instruction, students are not allowed to leave class during the first and last 10 minutes of the period. The passing period between classes is four minutes. At the beginning of class, the teacher was interrupted by a student’s request to use the restroom. The teacher told the student to wait until class settled down so that instruction could begin. Less than five minutes into the class period, the student urinated into a bottle and discarded it in a trash can. Shocked at the student’s actions, the teacher told the student to dispose of the bottle in the restroom and wash his hands.
The boy’s mother, Kelly Jacko, said she was not satisfied with the outcome.
“If this case is so cut and dry, why is the teacher being disciplined?” said Kelly Jacko, adding that other students have confirmed her son’s story. “There are so many loopholes.”
She also questioned why the teacher did not report the incident, to administrators. The school only learned of the matter when Jacko complained to Principal, Harriet Young. Kelly Jacko wants the district to fire Stanzler. Betty Williams, President of the Sacramento NAACP said she supported Kelly Jacko’s efforts to have her son suspension lifted and issued the following statement:
“We believe this young man should never have been placed in this situation to begin with,” said Betty Williams, Sacramento NAACP President. “It is the responsibility of the teacher–as the authority figure in the classroom–to exercise proper judgment. It is our belief that had the teacher properly maintained control of the classroom, Mr. Patterson would not have had to make the decision he did.” The Sacramento NAACP supports the contention that Mr. Patterson made every effort to express to Science Teacher, Peter Stanzler, his need to use the restroom, and that Mr. Stanzler should have exercised his discretion in considering Mr. Patterson’s continued pleas. Additionally, Mr. Stanzler, by providing tacit approval for Mr. Patterson’s actions, promoted and encouraged an environment in that classroom that placed Mr. Patterson in a difficult situation.