Most classes have a student who could use some better hygiene practices. Just ask any teacher. When the kids are young, it’s the role of the parent to ensure that a child bathes or showers. So naturally, if a young child is noticeably not doing either, a teacher’s first line of defense should be to discreetly discuss the matter with the parents. One school in Texas took matter into their own hands, instead.
When an eight-year-old was determined to be unhygienic, the school nurse and counselor at Peaster Elementary School forced an 8-year-old to take off his clothes and they forcibly some say violently bathed him.
The boy’s parents, Amber and Michael Tilley, are suing the school district. They maintain that school officials told the boy he “smelled badly, was dirty and had bad hygiene.” They also put cotton in his ears which they left there all day, and scrubbed him down in a jail style manner which left the boy bruised and sore. Of course, it affected the boy emotionally as well, says his mother. “He just kept on and on, wanting to take baths. You know, he just felt so disgusting.”
When the child went back to school, he sprayed himself in cologne in fear that he would smell again. The parents say he is traumatized and seeing therapists because he feels so dirty.
The incident never had to happen. The parents maintain that the boy is never dirty and not allowed to go out unbathed. They also say the school never ever called them to discuss the matter and they never knew he was considered unhygienic in school. Dad Matthew Tilley said:
“The first thing I said was, ‘You ought to try to call us. And they said, ‘We were trying to avoid him being embarrassed.’ And I said, ‘You all did a real good job of helping that process along.’”
The parents’ attorney says he has never tried a case like this, “The thing that’s unusual is that any school employee would take it upon themselves to do this to a child. As bizarre as that is, the injuries that this child has sustained are significant.”
There is really no justification for what was done. Even if the boy was significantly dirty, an adult should never shame a child, let alone strip him down and bathe him! It’s obviously not the fault of an eight-year-old. This boy will likely suffer lifelong mental damage and always feel dirty without sustained therapy. I would be absolutely livid if that were my child.
It’s entirely strange if the school really never mentioned the problem to the parents before resorting to this drastic measure. The school had no comment.
What would you do if this was done to your child?
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