Tennessee Girl Suspended from School 24 Times for Smelling Foul

Illustration for article titled Tennessee Girl Suspended from School 24 Times for Smelling Foul

A Tennessee second grader at an unidentified elementary school in Washington County has been sent home repeatedly from school for smelling so bad that teachers and students have complained that they are unable to focus on school activities in her smelly presence.


Washington County Director of Schools Ron Dykes says a child is sent home in only "rare" cases of extremely poor hygiene: "[Those cases] 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 compiles."

So why is this little girl so stinky? Apparently, it's a big mystery, because the girl's mother, Krystal Hensley, claims she bathes daily. But when school administrators questioned the girl about why in the fresh hell she smells so foul, she claimed to not remember when she last took a bath.

Hensley says, "She's been to the doctor and it's not a medical problem. They send her home at least once a month."

The first suspension notice served to the girl's mother stated, "We have made repeated attempts to address a foul odor that [redacted] has been [emitting]. This is not being resolved."

Okay, so, it's not a medical problem, and the girl is being sent home roughly once a month? That sounds like about the time that someone who hasn't showered would start to smell funny. And normally, when that someone is a second grader who hates taking baths like any other girl her age, that's when that second grader's designated caretakers go, "THAT'S IT! YOU'RE TAKING A BATH, MISSY."

The girl's mother said the Department of Child Services (DCS) investigated the situation, but there is currently no open case, according to DCS Communications Director Molly Sudderth. That's when everyone just shrugged their shoulders and said, "I guess we'll keep doing what we're doing right now because it's working!"


In the meantime, this girl is missing weeks of school, probably repeatedly humiliated by whatever crowds of kids and adults wrinkle their noses around her, and smells unpleasant. At least Pig-Pen from Peanuts got to stay in class.




Ugh. This was me in 6th grade. We were extremely poor, and my mother was not very capable of mothering (mental illness, drugs). We had water, but it was Icy. And no washing machine or money for it. I bathed in that damned cold water, but I could only hand wash my clothes with cheap bar soap or shampoo with minimal effectiveness (pre internet, no instructions). I would get teased-but I wasn't sure why at that point in time. One day a teacher gave a lecture about "hygiene" that was obviously directed at me, although supposedly anonymous, and then I understood. The horror poor 11 year old me felt. Of course, nothing changed because I didn't know how to fix the problem. Thank Jeebus a kind hearted home ec teacher pulled me aside one day and let me know that she opened her classroom at 7am every morning, and didn't close it until 6pm when she went home. She gave me free access to the washer and dryer and REAL laundry soap. I would load up a duffle bag with a few days’ worth of clothes for me and my siblings a few times a week and do laundry. She never said a word about it to me. She told people I helped her wash the towel and aprons. Up until high school, when my grandmother took over our care I would do laundry and read in her classroom. After I left school she went on to become a police officer in my neighborhood. She would stop in a check up on us. She was bad ass. To this day I take scalding hot showers, long ones, lol.