LACOMBE, La. — A pre-k student is "tremendously shaken" after having to clean someone else's feces off a bathroom wall at her school in Lacombe.
The 4-year-old's mother, Darcel Williams, says the school sent her home the day before Mardi Gras break with a note saying that she had smeared her feces in a bathroom stall. However, the Chahta-Ima Elementary student tearfully said the paraprofessional made her clean it up. That detail was left off the note, according to our partners at The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate.
Williams said when her daughter reported the feces, the paraprofessional gave her a baby wipe and told her to clean it, despite insisting she did not do it. Williams noted the child is fully potty-trained. The teacher was allegedly in the hallway at the time of the incident.
The child's parents, grandmother, and uncle met with school officials, the paraprofessional, and the teacher to get to the bottom of the situation.
"The story was similar to my daughter’s," Williams told NOLA.com. "The only difference is [the paraprofessional] said my daughter didn’t clean the bathroom by herself. She cleaned it with her."
Williams said administrators admitted it was a mistake and insisted it will not happen again. However, NOLA.com reports there seemed to be a lack of empathy and understanding throughout the meeting. Williams says she was told there are natural consequences to students' actions.
St. Tammany Parish School System spokesperson Meredith Mendez told NOLA.com appropriate disciplinary measures have been taken against the paraprofessional.
The 4-year-old no longer attends Chahta-Ima Elementary School and now goes to a different school in St. Tammany Parish. Her mother says she refuses to go back because she is afraid she will be forced to clean a bathroom wall again.
"Nobody’s child should be touching feces, especially without a glove and you have a paid janitor here during the day," Williams said. "I just don’t want a parent or another child to have to go through this."