Toilet Reign of Terror

Authorities investigate allegations of toilet duty in the Bronx

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    Students react to reports that punishments at their school included washing toilets.

    The new recruit does something wrong and the tough sergeant makes him scrub the latrine with a tooth brush. How many times have we seen this scene in the movies? But recast the soldier as a real-life 8th-grader and the tough sergeant as a real life middle school principal and you'd have a recipe for trouble.  Authorities investigating an alleged case of toilet duty in the Bronx.

    "It was disrespectful toward the student," offered Melvin Astacio, a 16- year-old sophomore at In-Tech Academy, a middle/high school in the Bronx.

    Students here can't remember the last time their school was in the news and now it is due to a tempest over toilets. Allegedly two 14-year old boys were forced to clean toilets as punishment for misbehaving in class, according to the New York Daily News.

    "Whatever they did wrong, they should have had detention or suspension, not clean toilets," stated Samantha Fernandez, a 14-year-old freshman.

    The News reports parent Sarah Estevez only learned of her son Randy's punishment after the fact, but thought it taught the 14-year old a lesson. The paper says the parent of another toilet-cleaning youngster described the form of punishment as degrading.

    Corporal punishment is forbidden in New York City public schools. Students can't be slapped or spanked or tied with duct tape to chairs, another "going too far" allegation investigated in recent years. "If the allegations are true, we will certainly take action," said Marge Feinberg, spokesperson for the NYC Board of Education.

    "I don't know what you can do to keep these kids from going overboard," sighed parent Samuel Jackson.

    Apparently, you can't make them clean the toilet in school.