Texas parents sue their school district, claiming that officials told their third grader he was dirty, made him undress, and violently washed him
Most kids don't mind getting dirty, but many do mind taking baths. One Texas school's solution? A nurse and counselor at Peaster Elementary School, after deciding that one third grader smelled awful and had bad hygiene, allegedly forced him to take a "jail-style" bath. The 8-year-old's parents, Amber and Michael Tilly, are livid, and they just filed a lawsuit against the school district. Here, a brief guide to the looming legal battle:
What exactly happened?
According to the lawsuit: One day in November 2011, the nurse and counselor told the boy he "smelled badly, was dirty, and had bad hygiene." They allegedly then ordered the child to undress, and "began violently washing his body," the parents say. "His body and his ears, they were really sore," Amber Tilley says, "real tender from being scrubbed."
What does the school district say?
Of course, there are two sides to the story. The school district's superintendent looked into the complaint last year and found no indication that the child had been scrubbed down in this manner. The sheriff's office investigated, too, and decided not to file charges. The nurse and counselor said they merely washed behind the child's neck and ears, informed him that he could shower at school, gave him deodorant, then left the room so he could put it on in private.
But the parents are suing anyway?
Yes. The Tilleys say their son was deeply humiliated by the experience. He insisted on wearing cologne to school the day after the incident, because he was afraid school officials would tell him he was stinky. "He just kept on and on, wanting to take baths," Amber Tilley said. "You know, he just felt so disgusting." The parents say they've had to take the boy to a therapist, and they worry that the encounter will scar him emotionally. They want at least $75,000 from the school district, and for school officials to leave their son alone.
Sources: Babble, Courthouse News Service, NBCDFW.com, Weatherford Democrat
Other stories from this topic:
- By the numbers: The astonishing costs of raising a child: By the numbers
- Opinion Brief: The Texas dad who killed his daughter's alleged molester: A hero?
- Fact Sheet: Why some 7-year-old kids are cutting themselves
- EssayThe last word: He said he was leaving. She ignored him.