Student suspended for taking photo of discolored school water


WESTLAND, MI (WCMH) — A high school senior ran into trouble when she took a picture in her school’s bathroom.

When Hazel Juco saw discolored water coming from her school’s bathroom sink, she was concerned.

“I just took a picture of it. And then in my newspaper class I talked about it with them,” Juco told WXYZ. “I always hope that someone will see it and want to help us because our school obviously doesn’t have the money.”

Juco also posted the picture on social media along with her complaints. A short time later, she was suspended from school.

“They told me I was being suspended, OSS (out of school suspension),” she said. “It is inappropriate use of electronics in the restroom.”

Juco felt targeted by the suspension for exposing the discolored water, saying that girls take selfies in the bathroom all the time and no one else has gotten in trouble.

When Dr. Michele Harmala, the superintendent of Wayne-Westland Community Schools, became aware of the issue, she found that the high school administrators didn’t handle the situation appropriately and didn’t report the discolored water to the maintenance department.

The cause of the discoloration turned out to be a corroded pipe leading to the faucet. After Harmala made maintenance aware of the issue, the process of replacing the pipe began.

“They sent a plumber out right away,” Harmala said.

As for Juco, her suspension is being removed from her record.

“The punishment is inappropriate,” Harmala said. “I am going to make sure the out of school suspension is expunged for the student’s record.”

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