Monday, September 01, 2014

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Letter sent home about children's hygiene elicits strong reaction from parents

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Buffalo: Letter sent home about children's hygiene elicits strong reaction from parents
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It's a nightly ritual. Kimberly Wells and her granddaughter go through everything she brings home from her Pre-Kindergarten class. Last week, she found a handwritten letter.

"Several children in Pre-K, ages three and four, are coming to school, sometimes daily with soiled, stained and dirty clothes," Wells read. "Parents, please take care of these matters. It is a health and safety concern. It also makes it difficult to be close to the children, not to even want to touch them. Enough said."

The letter continued on to ask both student and parent to sign and return.

Wells and other parents at B.U.I.L.D. Academy are up in arms.

"She could've called the parent on the phone," she said. "She could've had a meeting at the school, face-to-face."

The district won't comment on whether the teacher will be reprimanded.

"I think it's extremely important that we always demonstrate respect for all of our children and all of our families and certainly that our communication about any concerns that we have, that it is of an appropriate nature," superintendent Dr. Pamela Brown said.

School Board Member Mary Ruth Kapsiak admitted the situation wasn't handled ideally.

"I won't say insensitive. I think you have to look at it on an individual basis and say, maybe the teacher didn't think it through," Kapsiak said.

Wells said she doesn't want the teacher fired but says her communication skills need to be addressed.

"I don't feel that my granddaughter should be taught how to be negative to another student based on how they dress, or how they smell or how they appear, and that's what your teaching them," she said.

For the record, neither she nor her granddaughter are signing the notice.

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