The "smelly" student

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Backroads, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Mar 30, 2015

    So, I have a new-to-me issue and I'm not quite sure how to tactfully address it. A student has shown up for the fourth school day in a row in the same outfit (a uniform). It's dirty, grubby, and not really in line with our clean uniform policy. She also smells to the point students are complaining and it's bothering me (I have the sensitive pregnancy nose right now).

    She comes from a good family with whom I communicate regularly and there's been no red flags of any problems at home. My first guess is that her parents' work schedule is that for the moment she and her older siblings are responsible for getting themselves ready for school.

    Would a simple reminder to wear a clean uniform suffice? The parents are nice, but I'm not sure how to call with "your daughter smells".
     
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  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Our guidance counselor handles these issues. And there are more of them than I would've ever thought...
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I've made that call home. It takes a little tact, but if it's that type of good family, a simple, "I think little Suzie may be trying to wear the same outfit too many days in a row" is probably enough to do the trick.
     
  5. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Same here, except it's our Social Worker or one of the Deans making the call.

    Both of my students had the same 4th grade teacher. She ALWAYS talked to them about wearing deodorant.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    For what it's worth though, I probably wouldn't mention it to the 2nd grader. If she can't smell herself, she will probably think you're picking on her. If she can smell herself, she's probably not in a situation to fix the problem without parent help.
     
  7. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Our social worker comes and presents a lesson on hygiene to the class. If it continues then the nurse will have a talk with the child.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    My thoughts are that a class hygiene lesson may be more effective for older students who can handle their hygiene on their own. A child as young as 2nd grade normally needs more parental input (laundry, bathing, etc). That tactful call to the parent might be the better way to go in this situation.
     
  9. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Sometimes too cats mark their people and it could be cat urine, which isn't her but on her.
     
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    :agreed:
     
  11. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Do you have a school social worker or guidance counselor who could make that call home?

    Otherwise, call the parents and approach it with tact.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Guidance counselor or nurse would be a good choice to make the call.
     
  13. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    I had a student come here from Africa who really smelled bad. I think it was just a cultural thing and that the family just didn't shower as often. I gave a presentation on personal hygiene in general to all students. I also brought some wipes and asked her to clean specific areas and told her that she can use them any time she wants. She wasn't the slightest bit embarrassed.
     
  14. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Ok, so I will admit something...I have a smelly child. She is 9, she takes a bath or shower every day, but still-she smells. That's just how her body is. Her feet really stink, but she is also just very sweaty and loves to run and play a lot, and it shows. So if it is the child herself, know that there might not be a lot parents can do.

    They can, however, make sure she is wearing clean clothes. Does the child have more than one uniform? If she is new, maybe they just haven't gotten a new one yet. Having said that, I know my smelly child cannot wear even a pair of jeans more than once-it's just not an option. They must be washed. I would bump it to the counselor, or if I felt comfortable with the parent just give them a casual note or call.
     
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I wound up passing it on to the counselor and had a surprising response. While this is a good, loving family that does care for the children, there are some things they just don't get. According to the counselor, this isn't the first time this happened with this student or her siblings. Apparently the family is still learning about hygiene and have slip-ups from time to time.
     
  16. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Try an endocrinologist? Might be a glandular issue.
     
  17. MissMae

    MissMae Rookie

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    This is a red flag for changes in the home. She might qualify for Mckinney Vento if something has happened at home and she is no longer able to have her clothes washed and access to a bathroom. A hygiene class would not be my first option, I would make a call home and just casually ask how things are going. Then I would forward concerns to the parent liasion at your school.
     

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