(New York Daily News) - The mother of a Tennessee second-grader who has missed more than a month of school for having a "foul odor" says the punishment stinks.
The 8-year-old girl has stayed home for at least 24 days this academic year after being suspended multiple times in October, twice in December, once in February and once in March, according to WJHL in Tennessee. The girl is a good student — and bathes every day, her mother says.
"They just say it's a foul odor," mom Krystal Hensley told WJHL. "She takes a bath every day, but they ask her when the last time she took a bath was and she don't remember. She's been to the doctor and it's not a medical problem. They send her home at least once a month. You go to school to learn, not to be sent home."
The Washington County School District said the girl "could not remember the last time she took a bath, and sleeps in clothes," according to WJHL. The Department of Children Services looked into the matter at one point, but does not have an open case, a DCS official told the station.
"We have made repeated attempts to address a foul odor that (name) has been (emitting)," the school district's first suspension notice read, according to WJHL. "This is not being resolved. Other students and teachers are complaining, saying that they can not focus on school activities. We are taking this action because this is disruptive to the school program. If corrective measures are not taken then suspensions will continue."
A school district official said that children are only sent home in "extreme" situations, but would not comment on the specific case.
"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," Washington County Director of Schools Ron Dykes told WJHL.