Student forced to pee in a bucket sues teacher, gets $1.25-M in damages

The student who was forced to urinate in a bucket after her teacher denied her request to go to the bathroom has been rewarded with $1.25-M in damages by the San Diego County Superior Court in California. The former Patrick Henry High School student, who cannot be named for being a minor at the time of the incident, filed a lawsuit in 2012 against the San Diego Unified School District and a teacher for supposedly forcing her to pee on the bucket. The complainant said her teacher denied her request to go outside and relieve herself during a 25-minute advisory class. Instead, she was ordered to go to the supply room and use the bucket to pee on in private. The student claimed she suffered embarrassment after the episode and has been the subject of gossip and bullying. She also received lewd text messages and contemplated on taking her own life.



According to the San Diego Union Tribune, the teacher, identified as Gonja Wolf, rejected the student’s request because she believes it was against the school rules. The teacher further argued she never intended to embarrass the student but was only enforcing the school’s strict no-bathroom-break policy when she gave the girl the solution to her problem. But the student’s lawyer, Brian Watkins, said something like what the teacher did should never happen to a 14-year-old girl just entering high school. “She took the stand and told a really embarrassing story, she told the jury how this has affected her life and how she is still working through issues,” the lawyer said. The Unified District initially denied her $25,000 claim but the jury sided with the student and awarded her $1.25-M in damages plus $41,000 covering past and current medical expenses. The student, now 19, has since graduated from the school and has a job but is still under therapy for post-traumatic stress as a result of the incident. “She is very happy she was able to have her voice heard,” Watkins said. However, the District was disappointed with the verdict and is now considering to file an appeal.
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