Hartford Toilet Teacher Investigated

A Hartford teacher accused of forcing students to clean the classroom toilet with paper towels and a cleaner with bleach is on administrative leave.

For two years, Catherine Saur required any student who used the bathroom to clean the toilets, even if they only went to the bathroom to wash their hands.

An emergency PTO meeting was held Tuesday night to discuss the issue and it became apparent that many students knew about Saur's unwritten rule.

Jane Russell complained when her son had an allergic reaction to the cleaner and told her what his Kennelly School art teacher was requiring student to do in the bathroom of a portable classroom.

"He was hiding his hands in the bathroom.  I said what happened?  He went to get some bandages," Russel said.  "That's not acceptable, you shouldn't be cleaning the toilet, that's the custodian's job."

Nearly two dozen people spoke out at the meeting, including several more people who say their kids were forced to clean the toilet inside the portable classroom.

Principal Peter Dart sent a letter to parents on Monday that said the teacher had been requiring students to clean the bathroom for the past two years. He said he did not endorse or know about the practice before May 17, when it was reported to authorities.

Not everyone was upset by the rule.  The P.T.O. secretary, Nancy Moreaux, says Ms. Saur was only trying to teach kids an important lesson.

"If you sprinkle when you tinkle, please be neat and wipe the seat," Moreaux said.

Saur, reached by telephone at her home Tuesday morning, declined to comment to the Associated Press.

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