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Teacher Complains of Student’s ‘Unpleasant Smells’

By Sunny Chanel |

Nez_d'hommeOne thing about kids: they are messy, dirty and can sometimes be a wee bit smelly. While many of us see this as just part of “being a kid,” others who have more of a clean freak demeanor, not only take offense to their odorous emissions but feel a call of action to free the world of their smells.

One such person who felt it was their duty to make the world (or in this case) their classroom a sweeter smelling place was pre-kindergarten teacher at B.U.I.L.D. Academy in Buffalo, New York. The educator sent a note home with some of the children that read:

“Urgent Notice –Several children in Pre-K ages 3-4 are coming to school (sometimes daily) with soiled, stained, or dirty clothes. Some give off unpleasant smells and some appear unclean and unkempt.” The teacher added, “It is a health and safety concern. It also makes it difficult for me to be close to them or even want to touch them. Enough said.”

She then asked that the note be returned with not just the parent’s signature but the child’s as well.

First let’s take the start of the note – it said “Urgent Notice.” Of things that are “urgent,” I personally do not think this fits into the “urgent” category. Little Jimmy bringing a knife to school, rampant bullying, a chicken pox outbreak, the coming of the apocalypse; those are all “urgent.” A smelly student is not.

The teacher reportedly did not have permission from the principal to send out the note, and did so in a way that parents see as lacking compassion. Especially since almost 30% of the students in this community are living below the poverty line. This is a situation where parents felt that the teacher should have come directly to them with a phone call or a meeting, rather than a note sent home with the children. One child asked her grandmother, “Do my teacher think I stink?”

Parents were outraged by the note, they went to the school and have talked to the press. The Superintendent of Buffalo Public Schools, Dr. Pamela Brown replied, “I think it’s extremely important that we always demonstrate respect for all of our children and for all of our families.”

Sending an “urgent notice” home with kids doesn’t seen to be the most respectful way to deal with the situation. As of now, there haven’t been any actions against the teacher who sent out the letter, not that anyone wants her fired, but a lesson or two about compassion may be in order.

If your child’s teacher thought your kid’s cleanliness was a concern, would you prefer a note, a meeting or a phone call?

Photo Source: Wiki Commons






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About Sunny Chanel


Sunny Chanel

Since 2007 Sunny Chanel has written thousands of pieces for Babble. She currently writes for Babble's celebrity, moms, and Disney voices sections and has her own blog aptly named Sunny Chanel. You can find Sunny on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sunny's latest posts →

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One thought on “Teacher Complains of Student’s ‘Unpleasant Smells’

  1. Josie says:

    I had an issue with weak bladder muscles,sustained from an infection I had got when I was 9 and started to wet the bed until I was about 12 I was so ashamed that i would hide it from my parents, as one of my chores was to take care of my room and do my own laundry I managed it very well until at school one day the other students had complained to the teacher I smelled of urine. She sent a letter to my mother, who approached me that night at home. I confessed what had been happening and due to that I got the proper medications I needed to help me with the issue. People need to stop being so damn sensitive. if your child is bathed properly there is NO reason he/she should noticeably smell. As a mother of two daughters I have zero problem in receiving any sort of communication from their teachers about anything, I do not live in a bubble and assume I or my daughter’s are perfect. My 12 year is lazy about showering I am always scolding her for not showering enough. I worked with a co-worker who had horrible hygiene and offensive body odor, so I know how unpleasant it is to be in the company or someone who smells. Also the other “cleaner” or “non smelly” kids might make fun of and bully the “smelly” “dirty” ones. really people it’s just a note it’s not the end of the world!

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