Today in awkward letters sent home from school, a pre-k teacher openly admitted to parents that she doesn't like touching their kids. But she's not a kid hater, ya'll. The educator at the BUILD Academy in Buffalo, New York is just sick and tired of smelly kids being sent to school.
You know what? I can't say that I blame her. Kids should be clean when they go to school. Period.
The note to parents comes with a warning to "Please Read" in giant letters at the top, and a section at the bottom for parents to sign, acknowledging they've received it. The letter reads:
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 unkept [sic].
Parents please take care of this matter. 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.
OK, it's a wee bit harsh. When I think "pre-k teacher," I think warm and fuzzy woman in sweaters with appliqued snowmen on them whose Facebook bio reads "loves kittens and hugs from little kids." A warning that she doesn't want to "touch" kids doesn't exactly jive with that image.
But sometimes the truth hurts.
We've all been there, haven't we? You're standing in the grocery store, and you can't tell if you're crying because of that awful smell assaulting your senses or because you feel so darn bad for that little one whose parents let them go out like that?
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This is where it extends from the obvious health issue to a mental and emotional one too. If a teacher, someone who got into the job because she loves kids, can't stand to be near them, what about the other kids? I'm willing to be they smell it too, and they're probably turning away from those kids and picking other playmates.
Think back to your childhood; didn't you? It wasn't to be cruel, it was a matter of self-preservation. There is only so long you can spend in the presence of something that turns your stomach.
Unfortunately, that's something that can follow a kid far beyond pre-school. Once the "smelly kid," always the "smelly kid." And that isn't on the children. We aren't talking about teenagers here who are going through one of those "I don't want to shower or wear deodorant" phases. We're talking about 3- and 4-year-olds, kids who don't know better and really couldn't do anything about their situation if they could.
The health issues and the emotional issues that stem from this are completely on the parents, and I commend the teacher for taking a stand on behalf of the children.
It's not like she's asking parents to send the children to school in Gucci and Armani. Hand-me-downs from Wal-Mart are fine ... just so long as they're CLEAN.
There is no excuse for sending kids to school in dirty clothes or without a bath.
What would you do if your kids' school sent home a letter like this?
Image via Democrat & Chronicle