Lawsuit claims 10-year-old girl forced to urinate in cup on school bus

Jan 9, 2013 Full story: Chicago Sun-Times 39

A Wilmington couple is suing a southwest suburban school district because their 10-year-old daughter was humiliated on a field trip last January when teachers allegedly refused to stop for a bathroom break and forced her to urinate in a cup on a moving school bus.

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SHE IS GONNA GET PAID

Bartlett, IL

#1 Jan 9, 2013
UN FRICKEN BELIEVABLE HOW STUPID CAN THE PEOPLE OF WILMINGTON SCHOOL DISTRICT BE TO OPEN THERE SELF UP FOR A LAW SUIT !!!!
horno

Marseilles, IL

#2 Jan 9, 2013
go get em. Go after driver, bus co., and chaperones personally. We need names!
Way to Go!

Coal City, IL

#3 Jan 9, 2013
I just hope the mom doesn't lose her job since she works for the h.s.
Seems legit

Wilmington, IL

#4 Jan 9, 2013
This is ridiculous from every angle.

Parents: Are you kidding? You are so "distraught" that you literally waited until 1 day before the 1 year anniversary of this incident to file a lawsuit? I'm no lawyer but I'd be willing to bet the statute of limitations on this type of thing is one year, that they tried to extort the school for the rest of that year, were denied, and have done this as a last ditch resort at an easy payday, presumably being completely willing to settle for a lesser amount than the 150k+ they are suing for.

Parents & Lawyer: Here's a tip, Wilmington Middle School is in Will County, not Cook.

The bus driver / company: Whatever you end up doing, you probably don't want to condone having a kid urinate while your bus is moving. What if you got in an accident? That kid is severely injured or dead, because you didn't want to be 15 minutes late.

The driver is reported to have asked to stop and got rejected by dispatch, so I have to place the blame here on the company more than the driver.

Teachers: You have to realize holding up coats to try to shield this girl essentially looks like you are on-board with the plan and makes you an easy target for the lawsuit. You should have made an announcement before leaving the building for the kids to use the bathroom, because there wouldn't be any stops until Wilmington. It's seriously that easy.

Kid: Hold it or go before you leave. I know she's just a kid but I went to these field trips myself at that age. They always do head counts and wouldn't have left without her. Or just hold it, a Wolves game isn't that long of a drive.

Ultimately I don't think it's unreasonable for the bus company to face some sort of disciplinary action here, but a six figure payout to some lawsuit happy parents is insane. The driver isn't going to risk losing his job by making an unauthorized stop. Anybody else should be in the clear. The entire situation is stupid but waiting an entire year before taking any action shows these parents care more about a paycheck than anything else.
Unacceptable

Villa Park, IL

#5 Jan 9, 2013
The fact that this happened is unacceptable. Those parents have every right to hold all involved responsible. This child will deal with this her entire life. She deserves a lot more than money, she deserves respect and a huge apology. Not to mention the remaining parents of Wilmington, we should all be upset that this is how our tax dollars are working. Aren't they suppose to work for the children. It would have been easy for that bus to pull over at one of the three oasis stops on 294 and let this child use the bathroom. I am sure if it was a teacher, that would have been done.

The school district should make someone accountable. Residents of Wilmington should be very upset and demand the school district to create a policy so that this does not happen to the next child. The people responsible should be embarrassed and the parents and the girl should be thanked for standing up to them.
Horno

Morris, IL

#7 Jan 10, 2013
They have the system set up so "it's no one's fault". In fact, in Morris, parents have to sign a waiver that states that no teachers or other chaperones have any liability/responsibility for anything that happens when their child is under their care, if they go on a field trip. WHAAAAT? Is it the same in Wilmington? Honestly, we need names. Please, someone who has access to public record (the complaint) let us know WHO is involved.
Ibikes

Hebron, IL

#8 Jan 10, 2013
If this continues to gather steam lets be concerned with the child. Regardless who is blamed the child is the victim. The people involved so far have completely messed up. I hope the Legal people move fast and get it off the news. I would also hope the media would demonstrate some sensitivity to the child.
Yep

United States

#9 Jan 10, 2013
Here is my thought.. There were 4 adults on that bus. And every one of them was involved in the decision making and the execution of that brilliant plan! They should all be held accountable. I find it utterly ridiculous that the superintendent of our schools said the teachers did nothing wrong! Are you kidding me?? They held coats around a child as she urinated in a moving bus! How in the world is that not wrong?? The bus driver.. Drove yhe bus as the child urinated...Every one of the adults made unsafe, irresponsible, jackass decisions. And that is the bottom line. There is no way to blame one person on that bus more than another. Again 4 adults, and that decisions was the brain power of all 4! And for Jay Plese to not even acknowledge the teachers part in the incident is so far beyond ridiculous. I am so happy we pay him an assload of money!
Seems legit

Wilmington, IL

#10 Jan 10, 2013
The bus company should have settled this in a hurry, admitting no fault and let their insurance make a small payment to get this over with. It's pretty clear to me the parents are just trying to use their daughter for a big payday and are no doubt getting advice from a lawyer who keeps telling them to hold out for more money.

And look, I like hockey as much as the next person, but a field trip to a hockey game is in no way your "tax dollars at work."

I'm not a fan of Plese but he can't be making public statements saying the teachers are at fault. It's his job in this case to try to make the school district look not at fault in any way, which isn't exactly going to be an easy job.
Outraged

Wilmington, IL

#11 Jan 10, 2013
Just to inform "Seems legit" the child did ask to use the bathroom BEFORE the bus left Chicago and was DENIED!!!! The parents are not interested in the money they just want the irrisponsible adults to held accountable and PUNISHED. Neither happened. I do not understand how the school feels they are not responsible for their actions.
Little Confused

Coal City, IL

#12 Jan 10, 2013
Outraged wrote:
Just to inform "Seems legit" the child did ask to use the bathroom BEFORE the bus left Chicago and was DENIED!!!! The parents are not interested in the money they just want the irrisponsible adults to held accountable and PUNISHED. Neither happened. I do not understand how the school feels they are not responsible for their actions.
I agree 100% with what you said. My confusion is why did the family wait 1 day before the 1 year date the incident occurred to sue? I am not familiar how lawsuits works so maybe this is normal. And to echo what has already been said, the school most definitely has some blame with this since there were staff members on the bus. For the superintendent to say the school is blameless in this unfortunate case is classic passing the buck.
norightanswer

Wilmington, IL

#13 Jan 10, 2013
I am a parent with 3 children in the wilmington school district, one in this poor child's grade. While I agree it was ridiculouse to have her pee in a cup, I do not think a bus should be expected to stop every time one of 30 or so kids says they have to use the restroom. What is the right choice? I guess if it was my kid I would want to know that they were told to use the restroom before leaving the hockey game and that after not taking that opportunity they were giving the option of having the bus stop so that they could use the restroom with the understanding that if the bus does this they will get detention and not be allowed on any other school field trips during middle school. Seems like a reasonable solution to an unfortunate situation that I believe the student and all the adults involved are responsible for. I have chaperonened many field trips and the before departure restroom option has always happened, I wasn't here for this one so I can't say, but if it didn't happen than shame on those adults!
Sling blade

Bartlett, IL

#14 Jan 10, 2013
Buses used for field trips should have toilets on them. They should use charter buses. Plain and simple. No one should be expected to hold their urine or bowel movements on a trip. Children should not face punishment and banishment from field trips for simply having to relieve themselves. If it costs more, then it costs more... Deal with it. Charter buses are the way to go for field trips.
norightanswer

Wilmington, IL

#15 Jan 10, 2013
lol to not the right answer, I don't know why my post is labeled coal city when I'm at my house in wilmington but if stream wood is really where you are posting from I do not think you understand how low the average income for our area is. I agree restrooms on all field trip busses is ideal but that is not feasible in this community. It will be very unfortunate for future generations of this district if field trips were to cost extra for this reason when most of them only travel under 1 hr btw destinations. While most of us are not poor, I know that there are many times that even an extra $20 for a field trip is more than can be spent on such things.
norightanswer

Wilmington, IL

#16 Jan 10, 2013
of course I meant to 'sling blade',oops
Sling blade

Chicago, IL

#17 Jan 11, 2013
Ok, so the other option is to have the kids pee in a cup or how about a hole in the floor. Lets not bring Wilmington any more comments about how we are all hillbillys or yellow hammers. Upgrade the buses or plan to take rest stops. When nature calls answer it. This is America dammit. Lol
unbelievable

Wilmington, IL

#18 Jan 11, 2013
horno wrote:
go get em. Go after driver, bus co., and chaperones personally. We need names!
I hear teachers were B. Noffsinger and Coleen Walsh. The bus dispacter was Melissa Klegman. Of course the bus driver was fired right away. The only person to actually get disciplined. Pretty sad in my opinion:(
Way to Go!

Coal City, IL

#19 Jan 11, 2013
unbelievable wrote:
<quoted text>I hear teachers were B. Noffsinger and Coleen Walsh. The bus dispacter was Melissa Klegman. Of course the bus driver was fired right away. The only person to actually get disciplined. Pretty sad in my opinion:(

Why would the driver be fired and not the dispatcher? This is all crazy!
Seems legit

Wilmington, IL

#20 Jan 11, 2013
Outraged wrote:
Just to inform "Seems legit" the child did ask to use the bathroom BEFORE the bus left Chicago and was DENIED!!!! The parents are not interested in the money they just want the irrisponsible adults to held accountable and PUNISHED. Neither happened. I do not understand how the school feels they are not responsible for their actions.
If true, fellow random person on the internet, would that asking have been before the bus left the lot or before they left the building? That is a big difference. She should have gone before they left the building, if she was already on the bus it's not like she could have re-entered the stadium anyway.

The parents aren't interested in money you say? So why sue? Why not just make a fuss about it to the media, I don't know, like right after it happened. The parents were obviously not so concerned about it for the 364 days after it happened to do anything about it, but when their chance at a payday was almost up it was time to act. Pocketing six figures from a school district doesn't punish the adults present for this situation.

As I've said previously, this should have been an insurance hush money payout with nobody admitting fault. Parents get that cash they're looking for, bus co. and school don't admit fault. Everybody wins except for the girl, who now gets to relive presumed ridicule for this incident being made news a year after she already went through it.
Yep

Coal City, IL

#21 Jan 11, 2013
[QUOTE who="Way to Go! "]<quoted text>
Why would the driver be fired and not the dispatcher? This is all crazy![/QUOTE]

One teacher is missing from the list. And I find it more outrageous that the teachers did not also get fired.. More so than the dispatcher not getting fired. Also the fact that there are now rumors tht the girl was a special needs child, there is a video of the whole thing floating around and many other rumors... Ridiculous. As far as the dispatcher denying the driver permission to stop at a restroom..that is not exactly accurate. She was told she could not stop, but it was because of where she wanted to stop for the child to use the washroom. I realize the bus company is responsible for its drivers while they are in duty.. As well as the shool district is for its teachers. But if u ask me, the bus company firing the driver immediately is the ONLY thing that was done right in this situation.

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