Claim: Boy Developed Whooping Cough After School Leaders Made Him Clean Bathrooms as Punishment


A California mom says the Stone Age discipline measures used by her local elementary school “compromised” her 11-year-old son’s health and resulted in him developing whooping cough.

CBS San Francisco reports Ishmael Perry was sentenced to cleaning bathrooms at LeConte Elementary – part of the Berkeley Unified School District – for two weeks for his involvement in an afterschool incident in which “bullying language” was used.


The fifth-grader maintains he is innocent of the offense, but says he agreed to the punishment because the alternative was a school suspension.

Perry cleaned school bathrooms for six days before getting sick and missing four days of school. The illness is apparently what alerted his mother, Magdalene Kingori, about his custodial-based punishment.

Kingori was outraged school leaders actually forced her child to clean bathrooms, and is convinced that’s what led to his whooping cough.

“He was compromised. He was touching pee pee for a week. And now he’s sick!” Kingori told CBS San Francisco.

Kingori took her complaint all the way to the superintendent of Berkeley Unified schools, who agreed the punishment was inappropriate and will no longer be used.

That’s not good enough for Kingori.

“We want a thorough investigation by the district,” she told the news station. “We want to hold someone responsible.”

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