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  1. #1
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    Girl, 8, sent home 24 times for smelling

    An 8 year old Tennessee girl has been sent home 24 times because she smelled.

    http://fox4kc.com/2013/04/02/girl-se...-smelling-bad/

    Mom says she's been to the doctor, and bathes regularly.
    I smell a bully, and that's not a joke.

  2. #2
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    Actions a mom, school nurse or counselor could take, other than leaving a child subject to continued embarrassment and loss of school days:

    1. Locate the source - is it shoes, clothes, hair? Perhaps something in her diet.
    2. Gift a simple toiletry kit and some basic instructions.
    3. Offer mom some advice about inexpensive ways to freshen up, like baking soda and
    vinegar.

  3. #3
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    Now THIS I know alot about. Poor girl. My brother, 2 sisters and I smelled every day too, because we had to wear the same clothes every day till they fell off our bodies. How cruel can parents be?? And nobody at school cared enough to send us home and make a fuss about it. They should be crying child abuse. Poor girl. She needs bubble baths and girly cologne and all that stuff other girls use. And clean clothes. Damn, this burns me up, and I know what she's going through. Damn parents.

  4. #4
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    very little info in the OP linked article

    Mom states child has been to doctor and there is no medical issue. This implies there IS an odor but the source cannot be found. Does the doctor acknowledge there is an odor but cannot find a physiological cause?

    Mom claims child bathes every night but child claims she can't recall if she has bathed? This child is 8, not 3. This is odd to me and suggests mom may not be being truthful about the bathing.

    No description of the odor. Simply "foul."

    Does this family have pets?

    A young woman who I shall not name but was residing with me at the time had moved to my home from a home that was disgusting from pet feces and urine. The odor permeated everything they owned. Pets in the home peed and pood everywhere and the occupants simply stepped over it. In addition there was a massive cockroach infestation because the home was filthy and never cleaned.

    The young woman was so accustomed to the smells where she came from she could not recognize when her cat began pissing all over my belongings. She claimed she could not notice the awful smells that began to permeate my own home.

    One day after I had cleaned the house and disinfected thoroughly, she walked in, wrinkled her nose and asked "WHAT is that SMELL????"

    "clean" I answered.

    Cockroaches, if the infestation is large enough, can also cause a distinct odor to "infuse" clothing, furniture, etc with the foul smell.

    I need more info on this case before I judge but I have a feeling mom may be being less than honest. MOO
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  5. #5
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    I'm sorry Sha

    Sometimes kids don't smell so good - it happens. But 24 incidents where a child smelled so bad she could not remain in school? There is no excuse for there not be some sort of resolve. IMO, it suggests an attitude issue with the adults involved, and the child is left to suffer the humiliation. IMO, this is bullying, whoever is responsible.

  6. #6
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    It's like the reporters were purposely trying to leave this a complete mystery.

    Either she bathes and tries to smell normal but has a metabolic issue, or she doesn't bathe or brush her teeth and so she smells.

    There are people, as others have referenced, who smell bad due to a metabolic disorder and although they try to smell fresh they can't.

    So what's fair? If this child smells so badly that it's a real distraction, and she can't help it, what should be done.

    NOTE: this is interesting. There was a study done about distractions during math testing. Sound distractions, visual distractions, etc. The distraction that caused the most students to have difficulty doing complicated math problems was a strong odor of dirty feet. So the distraction is a real concern.

  7. #7
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    http://www.wlox.com/story/21854592/g...r-smelling-bad

    Washington County Director of Schools Ron Dykes would not talk about a specific child or case, but he did explain how these kinds of situations are generally handled by the district.

    He said usually after talking to the parents, the school tried to resolve it by searching for money or an agency to help.

    Hensley said the Department of Children Services did investigate at one point but the case was closed.

    "She makes good grades, I mean, that's not the problem, problem is you can't learn if you're not at school," she said.

    the story is getting more coverage now but its all the same stuff from the original article, pretty much verbatim. I hate lazy reporting. Why bother in the first place if all you are going to do is run the same non info the original reporter gave??

    this one has a bit more but it is simply the school official elaborating on the issue of offensive odors and he is careful not to say that this next bit applies to this family. He speaks in generalities.


    "Sometimes children are raised in environments that are very close to being classified as neglect and sometimes are actually placed in that category," Dykes said. "When children appear to be dirty or have excessive body odor generally the teacher will have a conference with the child or ask the nurse or guidance counselor to discuss the issue with the parent to determine the possible cause. There are rare instances when a medical problem is involved, but more often than not it is simply poor hygiene and the child is living in troubling conditions. Perhaps the electricity or water service has been terminated for non payment of bills. There are times when we involve DCS, but generally the conversations with the parents will discover there is a need to assist with finding a funding source or agency that can help the family thorough social services."

    According to Dykes, a child is only sent home in "rare" situations when a family refuses to use proper hygiene or refuses to require the child to use proper hygiene.

    "In those cases, they are very extreme and to be quite frank the odor is so overpowering and extremely offensive to other children and adults so some sort of home bound program is used or the child will be removed temporarily from the school until the family complies," Dykes said.

    http://www.wjhl.com/story/21847947/2...r-smelling-bad
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  8. #8
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    Thanks, treeseeker. Sometimes it's the parent(s) doing the bullying. In my case, it was my alcoholic rageaholic father. I had a schizophrenic mother, but I don't blame her in the least. The poor thing was also bullied by my father.

    Quote Originally Posted by treeseeker View Post
    I'm sorry Sha

    Sometimes kids don't smell so good - it happens. But 24 incidents where a child smelled so bad she could not remain in school? There is no excuse for there not be some sort of resolve. IMO, it suggests an attitude issue with the adults involved, and the child is left to suffer the humiliation. IMO, this is bullying, whoever is responsible.

  9. #9
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    I once had a student who came to school smelling. She and sibling slept in the same bed, slept in their school uniforms and one of them wet the bed regularly. She would come to school dirty, wrinkled and smelling of old urine and filth. She was already under the eyes of CPS (to no avail) so I took it upon myself to giver new uniforms, take her dirty ones home with me and make sure she had a clean change of clothes at school with me along with babywipes, etc.

    But in this story, there seems to be a mystery of the source of the smell. Surely teacher know if it is a urine smell, or smells like cat urine, etc. Is it her breath, her hair, does she smell this way after being bathed? Has she been seen by a doctor.

    My step brother once when thru a stinky phase and it was gross, come to find out, he had somehow stck a piece of sponge up his nose where it became a colony of infection and smell with made his breath smell, even exhaling from his nose.

    I would say a Things need to be ruled out. If a bath and clean clothes don;t do it then check the childs home where she sleeps. Places where met is being "cooked" supposedly stick, could that be it? Are their uncared for animals where she lives?

    It could be a medical condition like step bros infected nose sponge. Diabetes causes a fruity smell in the breath (ketone, i think it is called), while another medical condition causes the person to smell like maple syrup. She could have a sinus infection.

    I hope this is cleared up soon. This poor child. How embarrassing to be banished like that. My own smelly student was being shunned before I discovered the problem and I set my student quick. i sent her on an errand and let them know it was NOT acceptable to make fun of her or be rude.

    I told them if they thought a first grader wetting the bed was funny then they ought to make fun of ME because i did it sporadically in 2nd grade and had a 3rd grade teacher who cruelly did not allow me to go urinate and held it and begged and finally at recess i got up but could not even take a few steps before I lost control and wet myself. So embarrassing!! I taught empathy and kindness in my class, the golden rule etc and I meant it and my kids knew it.

    They need to start investigating and ruling things out rather than just keep sending her home where it somehow becomes public news.
    SwampMama

    GUILTY!!!

    Cyrus C. convicted of 2004 arson in Harvey, La. that killed 4 people, including his 19-month-old daughter, his teenage girlfriend, the girlfriend's mom and GF's young brother (age 11). He was acquitted in 2008 (state charges) in 2008 and found GUILTY (federal charges) in 2013

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/...d_of_2004.html

  10. #10
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    sadly, my impression is that mom has made this public knowledge.

    I agree, SwampMama, whatever the problem is, it needs to be sussed out and addressed. Taking your child to the doctor about an ongoing issue is sometimes an ongoing process and not easily addressed by one visit.

    Mom states that the child's doctor can find no medical reason for it, but often one visit does not reveal a problem, many times you are instructed by the doctor to call back or follow up if the problem continues.

    I wonder if that was done.

    Children are entering into puberty younger these days than when I was a kid. It is not uncommon for children entering puberty to sweat profusely as they go through these hormonal changes. Weirdly enough, the problem can sometimes be the feet.

    I wonder if this young lady is approaching puberty (and yes I know she's only 8) and if that could be a factor.

    Mom actually meeting with the teacher and asking very specific questions could give her more to go on.

    Is the offensive odor stronger as the day progresses?

    Is it more noticeable after gym or recess outdoors?

    Is it more noticeable on certain days than others? (diet can play a role from what I am reading online, for some people dairy seems to cause certain individuals trouble in this area)

    Before discussing this with the press I wish mom and teacher and counselor had had indepth and ongoing conversations to try to ascertain what is causing this so it can be addressed. I can't imagine this poor girl's embarrassment at being the "stinky" kid and then being sent home for it repeatedly, and then like a big ole cherry on top, now she's news.

    Poor kid.

    ETA what troubles me is that mom does not deny there is an odor in the article, she simply says the doctor says there is no medical problem sand her daughter can't learn if she is not in school. Does mom smell the odor on those days when she is told to pick her daughter up? Or does she not? Did the doctor smell the odor? Or did they not?
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  11. #11
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    Might be her clothes. I have to ride a bus many times a month and many people do not have dryers or a clothes line and their clothes have a strong mildewy smell from not getting a good airing out when they dry.
    The school should be clear about what kind of odor it is and if it is B.O. or clothing. Like most posters I agree the school should offer discreet help or advice. Poor kid.
    When I was very young I would get a bath about once a week, and that had to be taken with my little brother. I know I must have been one dirty little kid. Unfortunately I had a negligent mother. Never had my hair brushed and wore worn out hand-me-downs. By some miracle the other kids were still nice to me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sha View Post
    Now THIS I know alot about. Poor girl. My brother, 2 sisters and I smelled every day too, because we had to wear the same clothes every day till they fell off our bodies. How cruel can parents be?? And nobody at school cared enough to send us home and make a fuss about it. They should be crying child abuse. Poor girl. She needs bubble baths and girly cologne and all that stuff other girls use. And clean clothes. Damn, this burns me up, and I know what she's going through. Damn parents.
    Same here. If you have children you are probably like me and sent them to school fresh bathed and with clean nice clothes. I'd never raise my kids like my parents.

  13. #13
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    My youngest (almost 9) son has awful and I mean awful foot odor. His shoes can and do bring tears to my eyes. I have to have him remove his shoes immediately after he is done playing outside for the day, powder them with medicated stuff. They must be laundered weekly and they still smell, but not to the point where its offensive. He also must bathe his feet and put powder on them as well.

    If I am not so vigilant (and there have been occasions where I have missed washing the sneakers for that week) you can literally smell them strongly when in a closed vehicle. Now my son bathes at least 5 of the 7 days a week, he is one of the few boys his age who enjoys baths and does not fight them as some his age do.

    I feel so bad for this little girl. I wish I felt more confident that everything that can be being done is to figure what is going on.
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  14. #14
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    Wise Old Owl is offline Retired WS Staff & Founding member of AFKBPOFPOPL
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlcya View Post
    My youngest (almost 9) son has awful and I mean awful foot odor. His shoes can and do bring tears to my eyes. I have to have him remove his shoes immediately after he is done playing outside for the day, powder them with medicated stuff. They must be laundered weekly and they still smell, but not to the point where its offensive. He also must bathe his feet and put powder on them as well.

    If I am not so vigilant (and there have been occasions where I have missed washing the sneakers for that week) you can literally smell them strongly when in a closed vehicle. Now my son bathes at least 5 of the 7 days a week, he is one of the few boys his age who enjoys baths and does not fight them as some his age do.

    I feel so bad for this little girl. I wish I felt more confident that everything that can be being done is to figure what is going on.
    I believe EVERYONE goes through a "smelly feet" stage once in their life. For me, it was in my early 20's and it was HORRIBLE! My DS went through it in middle school - same thing, take shoes off at the door and leave them outside - go immediately to the bathroom and wash them. It must be a body chemistry thing. Even my DD went through it. Smelly feet, ah I remember it well ...................................

  15. #15
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    I think we would need more evidence to determine the kind of smell that this is and where it is coming from before taking action. Action definitely should be taken, and identifying the source of the smell would be the first step. Is it B.O? Is it from filthy clothes? A dirty home? What steps have been done by school officials to this point? If this young girl has been sent home 24 times because she smelled, the problem has not been solved.

    For some reason, I think the Mother is not telling all that she knows, and that there could be abuse or neglect. Not necessarily physical abuse, but perhaps emotional abuse. The home and the parents should be investigated. Are the investigators smelling things in the home? These answers could indicate do we have irresponsible parenting, or a child with a medical condition forcing her to smell bad?

    I know a teacher when I was in high school that on two occasions he had two students that smelled terribly of B.O. I am sensitive to smells because of a neurological condition, where good smells and bad smells are magnified. I can sympathize with those who have been victims of someone elses' B.0. The teacher in question, dealt with the incident when he taught in Middle School. After nothing was done about the "smelling students" by their parents, he took it upon himself to send the kids down to the gym teacher, and said, "sorry, they can't come back to class until they have showered and look presentable." At any rate, in both cases, the teacher's way of dealing with the problem worked.

    It has to be hard for this girl was well. However, this is an eight-year child, and the parents with the help of the school and medical personnel, needs to get this resolved. My guess is I have a feeling that we have an irresponsible mother in this situation who's child does not have a clean body, clean clothes, or a reasonably clean home, and that type of environment is causing negativity for her and everyone else around her.

    Satch

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