California teen girl forced to pee in bucket in school awarded $1.25 million


SAN DIEGO (CBS News/AP) – A jury has awarded $1.25 million to a former San Diego high schooler who was denied a bathroom break and forced to urinate in a bucket.

The girl, then 14, used the bucket in a Patrick Henry High School supply room in 2012. A teacher had denied her request to leave a 25-minute class, believing it was against school rules.

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.

District lawyers said the teacher – who no longer works on campus – never intended to embarrass the girl.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says the district will consider whether to appeal Wednesday’s decision.

“Something like this never should have happened to a 14-year-old girl just entering high school,” the newspaper quotes attorney Brian Watkins as saying. “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 Union-Tribune says the girl, now 19, went on to earn a diploma from a charter school.

She has a job, and is still in therapy due to post-traumatic stress caused by the incident, Watkins told the paper.

“She is very happy she was able to have her voice heard,” Watkins said of his client. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and this was one of the more peculiar cases I’ve had.”

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