A Florida preschool teacher is under fire for reportedly asking a 4-year-old student to unclog a toilet with his bare hands.
The boy's mother, Tiffany Huffman, told WKMG Orlando she was outraged when her son's teacher asked him to fix a clogged toilet with his hands as a "teachable moment." The incident reportedly occurred during bathroom time at Rymfire Elementary School in Flagler County, Florida, on Nov. 30.
"They've been having issues with their toilets," Huffman said. "I guess the children kept clogging them up."
Huffman said that after her son clogged a toilet by using too much toilet paper, his teacher decided to teach him a lesson because this was reportedly not the first time he had done so.
The teacher reportedly asked the boy to reach into the toilet with his bare hands and remove the toilet paper that was clogging it.
Huffman said her son found the task embarrassing.
"He felt like people were watching him have to do this," she said. "He was humiliated."
She added that she was concerned about the unsanitary conditions of the toilet that her son was made to put his hands into.
"It's endangering his health," she said. "I realized afterwards that there were cuts on his hands but like the bacteria, anything could set in on those cuts."
After Huffman called the school to complain, the teacher admitted she asked her son to unclog the toilet, but said that the toilet was clean when the boy put his hands inside.
The school district said in an official statement that it is taking Huffman's allegations seriously and that an investigation has been launched into the incident.
On Dec. 4, school authorities said they will decide whether to discipline the teacher, who has been employed by the district for four years.
Huffman told WKMG Orlando that her son will not return to the teacher's classroom.
This was not the first time a teacher has assigned this unhygienic chore to a young student.
In November 2014, a third grade teacher at Scootney Springs Elementary School in Othello, Washington, asked a student in his class to unclog a toilet with his bare hands, Fox News reported at the time. After the boy's parents complained, the principal of the school reprimanded the teacher and ordered him to take a course on hygiene.