February 17, 2009

School toilet incident may lead to firing

A lawyer for a Minnesota school principal who had a kindergarten student clean out a toilet with his bare hands says the educator may lose his job.

Roger Aronson, an attorney for Rahn Elementary School Principal Doug Steele, said the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school board has told his client he could face dismissal following a closed hearing with an arbitrator, the Star Tribune reported Tuesday.

Aronson said Steele requested the hearing Friday after the school board voted this month to proceed with unspecified discipline against the principal, the Minneapolis newspaper said.

Elijah and Shannon Hannah filed a complaint against Steele Dec. 12, claiming the principal forced their 6-year-old son to clear out a toilet with his bare hands after he had wiped himself with paper towels and accidentally clogged the commode.

Aronson said the toilet had contained only water and paper towels and the student was instructed to remove the paper towels and place in a waste basket held by Steele.

I can tell you that 6-year-olds have trouble remembering what they had for lunch yesterday, that they're highly suggestible, Aronson said. We may never know what the real story was.