DUNEDIN — The Pinellas County School Board punished a teacher this week who reportedly used a water hose to clean a prekindergarten student who soiled himself at school.
Stephanie Wilson, 52, a 30-year veteran and a teacher at Dunedin Elementary, was suspended for 10 days without pay.
According to district records, Wilson asked a plant operator for a pair of gloves and use of a hose after the student soiled his pants and diaper during outside play time on Oct. 28.
The two employees and the child went to the side of the building, where Wilson removed the soiled pants and diaper, the records say. While the plant operator held up a towel as a privacy screen, Wilson washed the child with low-pressure water. When she finished, she put the student's pants on and headed to the classroom, where she put a clean diaper on.
According to the records, Wilson told the child's parent she hosed the child. The records say she apologized repeatedly and said she used poor judgment.
Superintendent John Stewart recommended the 10-day suspension, which will cost Wilson $3,010. She makes $59,910 a year.
The school board approved his recommendation Tuesday without discussion.
The records say Wilson has not been disciplined by the district before.
Last month, Wilson signed a legal agreement with the board which says she understands she violated five board policies, including "exposing a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement." It also says she agrees "there is no disputed issue of material fact in this matter" and understands that further policy violations could result in further disciplinary action "up to and including dismissal."
Wilson could not be reached for comment Thursday. The Dunedin Elementary principal, Kathy Brickley, did not return a message left with her office Thursday.
According to Bay News 9, other Dunedin Elementary parents were upset when told what happened.
"There's no way that you should have been hosed down by a teacher. That's just wrong," said parent Jodi Sabelli.
"Be a little more discreet than that. You don't take a child on the side of the building and hose them down. I just can't believe that!" said parent Brienne Ellingwood.
Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Ron Matus can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8873.