Parents angry about teacher’s letter addressing hygiene concerns

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BUFFALO, N.Y. – Some parents at a school in Buffalo are reacting to a teacher’s letter about hygiene.

According to, she sent a notice home saying several children, ages 3-4, were sent to school “sometimes daily with soiled, stained or dirty clothes.”

The letter went on to say the issue is a “health and safety concern” and also mentioned the smell “makes it difficult for (the teacher) to be close to (the children).”

Parents and children were asked to sign and return the letter.

Some felt the letter was inappropriate and called for the teacher to face consequences, reported.

Click here to read the entire notice.



  • butter nutz

    Sure, let’s all shoot the messenger.
    I am sure the teacher enjoyed telling the parents that their child smells like $h1t and are a disruption to the classroom. Take responsibility for your actions and try to be a parent.

  • smh

    What is the matter with you people! Those of you who are Not poor don’t rrealize how hard it can be to get clothes, goodwill don’t give clothes for free, a lot of people, their income just barely pays the bills, leaving very little to nothing for food which also means barely anything at all to buy clothes! There is No need to call family services! All the teacher had to do is talk with the parent of the “stinky” child. If the parent(s) are having a rough situation with money, then what the teacher could do is make a clothing donation box, along with shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. And this bugs me even more when people say the poor shouldn’t populate, they might Not have been poor when they were expecting, but became poor due to loss of job & it can honestly take MONTHS to get another job! Even a year & a half!! So instead of blaming the parents, think and don’t assume you know what’s going on!

  • geturkidsready4school

    those children are no doubt getting up and getting ready for school by themselves! yes It is a problem with the other students for they will be CLOSE to OTHERS ALL DAY, and they will be touching all of the things the other students have to touch. YOU are “THE PARENT” take care of your baby’s! at least put cereal on table for them, lay out clean under clothes, a clean fresh outfit for them, put out a clean towel & wash cloth, a tooth brush & a brush for bed head,,, HEY LAZY GET OUT OF BED! (IT’S CALLED COMMON COURTESY) 100% AGREE TO Call DFS if it continues!…Also poor baby’s will be made fun of!!. PARENT CLEAN IT UP LAZY!

  • Brooke Boyd

    I think the teacher went to far to sent it home with every child I think she should have just sent it to the parents that it need to go to b/c that just lets everyone know what is going on with onther kids at school

  • Terris

    After reading all of the comments, I can understand everyone’s responses. We actually don’t know the entire situation. I used to be an educator and no I don’t think it was properly written but on the other hand I am not an educator this day because it is truly difficult. We are all different, we don’t always say things the proper way, respond the same way either! Who know’s why the kids are coming to school like that? Until you are in some of these parents shoes and don’t have you just don’t know. We are living in a world when kids are having kids and I’m sure some know and others don’t. A teacher that loves the children and if this is your calling will go above and beyond always! Unfortunately we live in a day where kids are just left to grow up by themselves, no it’s not right! Someone should find out what is actually going on in this home, start from there and then move on to assist in any possible way!

  • Justin Banner

    The school I was at 20 years ago had a policy that students could be sent home if they or their clothing were too dirty. They weren’t talking about “just came in from recess with grass stains or dirt on their jeans,” but “When was the last time you did laundry or this kid had a bath?” type dirty.

  • Mike K

    I just love the idiots saying call DFS. Right call a government office that is over worked, understaffed, underpaid and about half under qualified. Government Office nothing else needs to be said. Teach the kids this is not acceptable since the parents are trash.

  • Baffled Parent

    This letter was the coward’s way around a tough situation. A good teacher would find a proactive approach…this sounds like something my son’s 3rd grade teacher would have done. She was older and had no clue about how to relate to children or their parents. To get positive results you have to be proactive and willing to help the situation, not make it worse! Even though my son has never gone to school dirty, or smelly (or hungry, which these children very well could have been), if I received a letter like this from his teacher, I would have him removed from that class the next day. It’s very accusatory and I wouldn’t put up with it as a parent!

  • oldglasslady

    These kids are 3 & 4 year old Pre-K. The teacher is asking them to sign the letter??? and the commenters are so worried the kids will read the letter and be upset. PRE-K people!!! The letter was because the teacher was too scared to tell the parents to take care of their children. Teacher – talk to your Principle!!! That is what they are there for. And yes … Parents DCFS is just a phone call away!

  • Debra Allen Batey

    Your right, the kids are the victims has anyone ever experienced this situation growing up? I knew a family that had this dirty stinky kid problem. It was their parents,
    the lazy potheads that didn’t work their house was dirty and stinky too. Clothes laying all over the house on the floor no washer or dryer, bugs everywhere. I think some of the neighbors helped out doing the kids laundry. I just felt sorry for them

  • Shannon

    Has anyone taken a moment to consider the economic status of these children’s families. Maybe rather than send out a “blanket” notice to address the concerns, a root cause analysis should have been performed and an attempt to reach out regarding the concern to those that needed it with some guidance and support.

  • julie

    This could have been worded more professionally…but DFS will do nothing for hygiene calls. I teach young children…trust me…they act annoyed that I even call about. In 15 years, I have never had them open a case or even investigate for just hygiene issues.

  • Donna Lawson-Mccumber

    I have read so much about these children could be poor, I have raised 3 children on my own. I could not get welfare because they said I made to much money yeah right, after paying rent, electric, water we lived on less they $20.00 a week for food, bathsoap, laundry detergent oh and I didn’t have a washer or dryer and didn’t have the money to go to the laundry mat, so I did the next best thing I washed all the clothes by hand in the tub and hung them up all over the house. So there is no reason why these parents are sending these kids to school smelling. I could go on about not getting child support, no car had to get a ride to work, my kids eating hot dogs peanut butter sandwich for dinner every night because we didn’t have money, but my kids were clean and wore clean clothes because I washed them in a tub. We lived like this for a few years. The only ones who disagree with this teacher most likely the lazy ones.

  • janice seaver

    The face of homelessness has changed over the years. There are varying reasons as why children stink. It’s possible that this teacher has an over-active smeller and therefore anything that has an odor would be offensive to her.

    No letter head infers that her superiors were not supportive of her/his comments or feelings.

    People with over-sensitive smellers tend to be discourteous and say rude comments. If this were a child doing this to a child it would be deemed as bullying. But this is an adult.

    If she/he is teaching in an underdeveloped community (low income or working poor income areas) then she/he needs to understand that showers don’t come to the homeless every night. Or for that matter, washing clothes doesn’t come daily either.

    I like most of the comments I’ve read, so far. I get what the teacher is trying to say, but she/he did it without thinking of the plight of the kids and family groups.


  • Kathleen M Isabell

    When I was in the first grade in 1966 there was a girl named Catherine who sat next to me. She was sweet, dark-haired and pretty. Her clothes were shabby, she would wear the same dress for days and she smelled like pee. She was always dirty. Sometimes she even wet herself in class, leaving a puddle in her chair. One day our teacher, old Miss Alvey, took Catherine up in front of the whole class, all 30 or so of us. Miss Alvey was nearly 70 years old. She grabbed Catherine’s arm as Catherine sobbed and looked at the floor. She addressed the class and said loudly, “Catherine does not take a bath every day. She smells bad. You all know you should take a bath, don’t you? You don’t want to smell like Catherine. So remember to take a bath every day.” Catherine was so humiliated she wouldn’t talk to anyone for days. I don’t even know if her family had running water at their home. Many families didn’t, mostly black families, but a few white families too were so poor that they didn’t have indoor plumbing or even electricity. I was shocked at Miss Alvey’s cruelty. No one should ever humiliate children or their parents. Even today many homes are without utilities or water in our city. Until teachers are willing to take those kids and their parents home and let them bathe in their own tubs then shut up. I have let people bathe and do laundry in my house who have no water, no gas. It isn’t a hardship. Maybe they should try it.

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