toilet door
A San Diego high-school student was forced to urinate in a bucket when a teacher refused her access to the toilet Pixabay

A female high-school student has been awarded more than $1.25m (£1m) after being forced to urinate in a bucket when a teacher refused her access to the toilet.

The San-Diego 14-year-old was bullied as a result of the incident and forced to move schools twice. She became depressed and even attempted suicide.

The incident occurred at Patrick Henry High School in 2012 during a special 25-minute advisory class. Teacher Gonja Wolf believed that the school had enforced a strict no-bathroom policy during these sessions.

When the student expressed her urgent need to urinate, Wolf showed her to a bucket in a supply room believing that this would provide a compromise between the girl's predicament and the rule.

Attorney Brian Watkins said: "Something like this never should have happened to a 14-year-old girl just entering high school. 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."

Lawyers representing the San Diego Unified School district argued that it was not Wolf's intention to humiliate the girl. The teacher was genuinely of the view that toilet breaks were not allowed during these sessions.

Bizarrely, it was claimed that Wolf had purchased the bucket in advance to be used as a toilet in the event of a security incident. Lawyers said that she had herself urinated in it while working late.

A spokeswoman for the district said: "We, of course, are disappointed and will be considering in the next few weeks whether or not to appeal," according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

A Superior Court jury awarded the student $1.25m in damages. The district had denied her initial claim of $25,000.

Watkins said of his client: "She is very happy she was able to have her voice heard. I've been doing this for 20 years and this was one of the more peculiar cases I've had. The jury was fair and reasonable."