According to the Los Angeles Unified School District, all the restrooms at 107th Street Elementary School were not working. One of the drains from the school into the main sewer system was clogged, causing a sewage backup.
"We had some toilets and some drains that were backing up. Tree roots, you know, happen at schools just like it happens in our homes," said Roger Finstad, LAUSD director of maintenance.
There were 20 port-a-potties provided for students and five port-a-potties for the teachers. Officials said lunch was served in the classrooms and common areas not near bathrooms.
The district called on help from the city's sanitation department. Crews had the clog cleared in about three hours.
"My concern is the health issue," said parent Miryea Falcon. "It's unsanitary for the kids to come to school and have them using the bathroom on a port-a-pottie."
Robert Daniels was among about two dozen parents who pulled their children out of school because of the problem.
"I need to get them away from here," Daniels said.
Parents like Paula Winters were upset that they were not properly notified about the issue.
"I get emails about a Easter bunny coming to take pictures, but I don't get an email about the water sewage problem?" she said.
Sinks were not affected and were still operating, school officials said.