When I read about the eight-year-old in Fort Worth that was forced to shower because he was smelly, I was appalled, then angry.

If the lawsuit filed in Fort Worth Federal Court is true, then a third grader was stripped of his clothes by two school employees—Julie West and Debbie Van Rite— and scrubbed down.

Any seasoned teacher knows that third-graders smell. At that age their arm pits begin emitting funky odors, and lots of kids refuse or forget to wear deodorant. I've lived it as a parent and heard about this issue from friends who are teachers.

According to the lawsuit:

 They began violently washing his body with a washcloth, scrubbing him over a large portion of his body, stuck cotton balls in his ears, all while ridiculing and harassing him about being 'dirty.'

I can't imagine what kind of bodily odors forced these two to humiliate the poor boy! What an error in their judgment.Along with the humiliation comes the fact that the boy was naked and that he was touched. His right to his body was taken away.

Early on I taught my son that no one--even family members--should touch his body. No exceptions.

I'm enraged for what Amber and Michael Tilley are going through. I can't think of any circumstance that would make it alright for this to happen.

Shame on the school nurse and counselor and Peaster Elementary school.

How would you handle the situation of your child was scrubbed down by school employees?  

Image via Thinkstock

About the author

Jenny Mero is a NYC-based writer, editor, entrepreneur, & mom. Previously, she was an editor at Selecciones. Before that, she spent five years as a reporter at Fortune magazine. She graduated from Wesleyan University.

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theha...

First of all, if children do smell to the point that others are complaining it has to do with bad hygene.  Yes, chioldren will smell at the end of the day, but if they arrived to school stinky that is an issue.  I feel bad for the parents, but they do not look clean at all.  If we can judge what happened by the way they look, we know what happened.  My children bathe every day and even so I have to keep reminding them to wash behind their ears, under their arms, etc.. Just last week my kdis failed the inspection for dirt behind their ears, and I check them every day.  My kids used to have a schoolmate that smelled.  They parents were great parents who were always very cleaned and presentable, yet the kids had hygene issues.  On more than one ocassion that kid showed up with poop around his behind, already dried, and he smelled like it.  THey told the parents and the kids still showed up the same way.  I don't think that it is true that the parents were not allerted in this case.  I am pretty sure they sent a note or they had previously told the child.  I think the main problem might have been that nobody wanted him next to them.  I am not saying that it was right for the nurse and counselor to bathe the child, but unfortunately if the counselor was involved already it means that it was not just a 1 day issue. 

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