A longtime Buffalo, New York school teacher could be sanctioned for a letter admonishing parents in her pre-kindergarten class over several of her students’ body odor.
The Buffalo News reported on Friday that in a handwritten letter sent on Nov. 14, BUILD Academy instructor Sharon D. Perry Dunnigan told the parents, “It is a health and safety concern. It also makes it difficult for me to be close to them or even want to touch them,” saying several of the students were arriving in dirty or “soiled” clothes. Dunnigan also required each of the students to get a parent’s signature acknowledging they had read it.
In a meeting on Friday with the school’s parent facilitator, Denise Glenn, Dunnigan reportedly rebuffed the parents when they offered to wash the students’ dirty clothes, suggest lesson plans based around hygiene and to raise money to buy the students school uniforms.
“She said, ‘What do you want me to do, apologize? I’m not going to apologize because I got my point across,'” Glenn told the News.
Dunnigan, who has reportedly taught in the Buffalo School District for 30 years, did not teach at the academy on Thursday or Friday. Members of the local school board voted unanimously that she should face stiffer penalties than a verbal reprimand. Dunnigan will now require approval from principal Michelle Hope before sending correspondence to parents. But board members are also determining whether she should undergo additional training and issue an apology to the parents, as well.
“Everybody on the board was appalled by that. Everybody,” board member James Sampson told the News. “We’re very concerned about what this communicates to little kids and to families.”
[Image: “Angry Teacher In Glasses With Wooden Stick” via Shutterstock]