A jury has awarded $1.25 million to a former California high school girl who was denied a bathroom break and forced to urinate in a bucket.
On Feb. 22, 2012, the student urgently needed to use the bathroom during a 25-minute advisory class. Believing it was against school rules, teacher Gonja Wolf rejected the student’s request and instead showed her to a supply room adjacent to the classroom where she could privately urinate in a bucket and dump the contents in a sink.
Her lawyer said that, after the incident made headlines, the girl was mercilessly teased, traumatized and attempted suicide.
She sued the teacher and the San Diego Unified School District.
Wolf, an art teacher at Patrick Henry High School, had recently purchased a bucket to serve as a make-shift toilet in the case of a security lock-down. The teacher had even urinated in the bucket a couple of times herself while working late at school, her attorney, Fern Steiner, told the jury.
District lawyers said the teacher never actually intended to embarrass the girl.
Wolf no longer works for the school district but according to her Facebook page she still works in education.
The school district called the verdict disappointing.
The former student, now 19 years old, ended up transferring to two other schools before finally graduating from a charter school. She has a job, but still attends therapy sessions due to post-traumatic stress.