October 31, 2019, Los Angeles, CA – The family of a 9-year-old boy who was denied access to a bathroom and subsequently wet himself and who was later forced to wear a garbage bag in his after-school program has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
The student (K.D. to protect the minor’s anonymity) was in the third grade at Manhattan Place Elementary on November 15, 2018 when he asked his teacher Jenkins (a white male) if he could use the restroom. Jenkins not only refused to allow K.D. to go to the restroom, but told the student he had to urinate in a trashcan in the classroom in front of his classmates. Rather than degrade himself in that way, K.D. urinated on himself and was forced to walk around school for the rest of the day in urine-soaked clothing.
When K.D. then attended L.A.’s Best, an afterschool program, that same day, he found one of the staff members, Ms. Evelyn, and took her aside to inform her that he urinated on himself earlier in the day. Rather than call K.D.’s parents or ask for assistance, Ms. Evelyn took K.D. into the classroom, got a black trash bag, tore holes for his head and arms to go through and placed the bag over the boy’s head. When K.D.’s father picked him up, he had a trash bag on.
“This is a gross injustice perpetrated against a young, African-American child who was shamed simply for needing to go to the bathroom,” said attorney V. James DeSimone. “The outrageously callous behavior by the educators, the school district and the staff is extremely disturbing. Children in schools deserve to be treated with respect, yet these individuals went out of their way to cause irreparable harm to this innocent child.”
In a separate incident in March of 2019, K.D. had a substitute teacher Mr. Keto who also refused to allow K.D. to use the restroom. When K.D. insisted, Keto told him that if he did go to use the restroom “don’t come back.” K.D. needed to use the restroom and did so in order to not urinate on himself again, but when he returned to the classroom Keto locked him out. K.D.’s parents were ultimately forced to transfer him to a different school.
Attorney Toni Jaramilla added: “As parents, we trust our schools to provide a safe environment to learn. When a student has a physical issue, they should be heard. Denying a child the right to timely use the restroom can cause both physical harm and emotional trauma.”
The lawsuit accused Manhattan Place Elementary School and Los Angeles Unified School District of extreme negligence and creating a hostile environment for K.D.
The case is K.D. v. Los Angeles Unified School District.
At V. James DeSimone Law, our Los Angeles employment law and civil rights attorneys are committed to justice. For over 30 years, we have been focused on representing individuals whose employee or civil rights have been violated. We believe no one should be a victim of such mistreatment, and passionately fight for the individuals who have been. Our team prides itself on being the tenacious advocates these individuals can rely on to pursue justice on their behalf. For more information, go to www.vjamesdesimonelaw.com.
At Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation, we represent plaintiffs in areas of racial and sexual harassment, discrimination, and assault in the employment and equal rights context. With over 23 years of experience, our firm has successfully litigated hundreds of employment and equal rights cases if state and federal courts against both public and private entities, including school districts and large corporations. We fight for our clients with integrity and compassion, striving to achieve the best outcome for our clients, as well as making positive changes in the workplace and school environment for others to benefit. For more information, go to: https://www.jaramilla.com/.