When special needs fourth-grader Jeremiah Rosario, 9, asked his teacher if he could use the bathroom on Nov. 3, he never thought he would end up cleaning it, too.
The New York Department of Education is investigating a claim that the assistant principal at the Sheridan Academy for Young Leaders in the Bronx forced a bullied fourth-grader with special needs to clean a filthy feces and urine-stained bathroom with nothing but his bare hands and toilet paper, according to a department report.
His mother said he had asked permission to use the bathroom but found the stalls too dirty. When he was told to go use a different bathroom, Assistant Principal Jose Gonzalez “accused him of wasting time” and made him go clean the dirty bathroom, reports DNAinfo.com.
“There was no soap to wash (his) hands,” the Jeremiah’s mother told reporters. “There was no gloves or detergent given to him to clean up the feces and the urine.”
“The child literally had to use toilet paper to clean as best as possible with his own bare hands the feces and urine of other students.”
The boy was understandably upset about reportedly having to clean up the bathroom but refrained from saying anything for fear of getting in trouble.
“It wasn’t my job to do that,” he said, “so I felt disgusted.”
His parents say this was the last straw. Both he and his twin brother, Isaiah Rosario, are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD, and are on a special needs program. The twins had allegedly been getting bullied at the school by a group of older kids who called themselves “The Squad.”
The parents reached their limit with the bathroom cleaning story. The boys have since been pulled from the school and are now being home-schooled until they find a new school to accommodate their needs.
"I'm glad I'm not at the school," he told reporters, "because I don't get bullied anymore."