I know DD is in the wrong, but should children have to put up with this?

(197 Posts)
ObviousNameChage Sun 13-Jun-21 14:50:25

DD got in trouble at school. I have no issues with the consequences she got and we had a very stern chat at home. For background she's never in trouble and described as a shy,quiet ,polite child so this is not the norm for her.

What happened was that some of her classmates were laughing and making comment that their teacher smells really bad, has sweat stains,you get the gist. DD said "I know , it makes me feel sick". Teacher overheard this and obviously all of the girls are in trouble, got a bollocking from her and also the head . They have to write apology letters and will miss play next week. We also had a talk at home about making comments,hurting people's feelings ,what's acceptable and what isn't etc.

The issue is, the teacher does actually smell quite bad, especially now in the heat, so many bodies in a sunny classroom etc. It is slightly noticeable at pick up and I'm not even that close. DD really doesn't like it and the smell (smells do in general she even recoils from me and her dad if we're smelly) does bother her. I do believe she made an honest statement , but still hurtful and as such she needs to deal with the consequences.She can't avoid it as there's group work,reading ,having chats, teacher coming over for help and so on.

It's such an awkward and difficult situation and the poor teacher must be mortified. However, at some level I also feel for the kids that have to put up with is for several hours a day and have no choice or option to "escape" from it.

If I say anything to the school I'll sound like a dick myself, the teacher will probably feel even worse and I don't think anyone can really do anything about it. At the same time I don't think it's ok for the children to just shut up and put up with it.

OP’s posts: |
FrangipaniDeLaSqueegeeMop Sun 13-Jun-21 14:55:18

What a nasty and uncalled for remark.

You deal with it by speaking to someone at the school. Not by saying naff all and then going "Oh well you have a point" when your DD makes an nasty remark.

Funny how it wasn't a problem until your DD got into trouble

PomegranateQueen Sun 13-Jun-21 14:59:47

How old is she? If she is little I wouldn't punish her, I would only have a chat with her about being tactful. It is confusing for young children to be told that they must be honest but not the 'wrong' kind of honest.
Tbh unless the teacher has medical issues it is very rude of the teacher not to practice basic hygiene and expect children not to comment.

AnUnoriginalUsername Sun 13-Jun-21 15:00:16

How would you deal with it at work? Make nasty remarks in earshot of the person? Or have a quiet word with the person or their manager?

CaraherEIL Sun 13-Jun-21 15:03:15

I would write to the head. I think your DD can write the letter of apology and needed to be spoken to about how inappropriate and hurtful the open discussion in the classroom was but I think the head needs to speak to the member of staff about their personal hygiene.

0None0 Sun 13-Jun-21 15:08:37

Email the head and politely explain. I am a teacher. I lost my sense of smell due to covid. I have an arrangement with other staff to tell me if I smell, but that is only since I realised my sense of smell was missing. I don’t no how long it was before hand, but it took honesty from a good friend to make me realise

TwinMum35 Sun 13-Jun-21 15:09:42

This better be about primary school because teaching 11-18yr olds I’m absolutely drowning in student BO 😂

If you were really bothered you would have spoken to the head or someone privately.

In all walks of life and workplaces we encounter people who fart, with bad breath, with BO or who wear half their lunch on their clothes.

Your DD was nasty and so were the others saying those things where they could be overheard by the teacher

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TwinsAndTrifle Sun 13-Jun-21 15:11:19

Can you write an anonymous letter to the head, as one of the parents involved, but not giving any details as to which one you are.

Go overboard on how you completely agree with the punishment all children received and are in full support of this. But go on to say, well, pretty much what you've said in your OP. That you've noticed, even outside, that the teacher has poor personal hygiene and the children struggle with this indoors. Make a point of saying how you appreciate how sensitive a subject this is, but could they please speak to their staff member to address something, which at the end of the day, is pretty unpleasant, that is affecting your child.

Mummytomylittlegirl Sun 13-Jun-21 15:11:48

Well if she wasn’t aware she smells she will be now.. so I doubt you need to do anything.

Yokey Sun 13-Jun-21 15:12:25

Your daughter and her classmates were making fun and laughing at the expense of someone else. Bullying behaviour really. Doesn't sound like she said it to be truthful. Kids could get away with all kids if this was a reasonable excuse for being nasty.

As for the hygiene, I agree and would probably write an anonymous letter if I'm honest. I realise that would be incredibly unsettling for the teacher, but I wouldn't want to face awkwardness and, as you say, the children shouldn't be expected to tolerate it without choice.

0None0 Sun 13-Jun-21 15:14:14

Mummytomylittlegirl

Well if she wasn’t aware she smells she will be now.. so I doubt you need to do anything.

Not necessarily. This is an insult levelled constantly at teachers, and almost all the time it isn’t true

Flowerlane Sun 13-Jun-21 15:15:05

Seeming as your daughter and her friends have pointed it out, the teacher will be well aware there is no need to embarrass the poor teacher even more by pointing it out again hmm

You daughter and friends were wrong and should be taught remarks like that are uncalled for.

ObviousNameChage Sun 13-Jun-21 15:16:10

AnUnoriginalUsername

How would you deal with it at work? Make nasty remarks in earshot of the person? Or have a quiet word with the person or their manager?


When I had this at work I just went in one day raving about this new deodorant i found that works wonders. Obviously, entirely different relationship and dynamic, plus being a bit sweaty myself it didn't come across as "aimed" at colleague. She asked what it was,where to buy it from, she did and it worked for her too so problem solved.

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FrangipaniDeLaSqueegeeMop Sun 13-Jun-21 15:17:56

When I had this at work I just went in one day raving about this new deodorant i found that works wonders. Obviously, entirely different relationship and dynamic, plus being a bit sweaty myself it didn't come across as "aimed" at colleague. She asked what it was,where to buy it from, she did and it worked for her too so problem solved

But you understand that a teacher/pupil dynamic is different than you and a colleague?

cupsofcoffee Sun 13-Jun-21 15:18:58

Why haven't you taught her it's unacceptable to 'recoil' from you when you smell?

SheldonesqueTheBstard Sun 13-Jun-21 15:20:32

There is no longer a need for an anonymous letter. Your daughter and her friends have already told the teacher.

AmberIsACertainty Sun 13-Jun-21 15:20:47

Your daughter needs to apologize to yeh teacher, along with the rest. You as parent need to raise a separate complaint with whoever (head of year?) about the teachers body odour issues. The children should not have to put up with it. It's either a personal hygiene problem or a medical issue. Either way the teacher concerned needs to deal with it.

amylou8 Sun 13-Jun-21 15:24:10

If the teacher smells strongly enough the parents can smell her at pickup (presumably you're more than 2 meters from her), then really this should have been dealt with before now by her supervisors at school. Children shouldn't have to be in a class room all day with an adult with a hygiene problem. I'm presuming your daughter is primary age as there is a reference to playtime. I really couldn't be angry at a primary child who made an overheard comment to her friends about it.

TheYearOfSmallThings Sun 13-Jun-21 15:24:40

If you were going to address the situation in any way the time to do so was before your daughter was caught making bitchy comments.

Since this has happened you definitely can't say anything now.

ObviousNameChage Sun 13-Jun-21 15:25:18

She's definitely old enough to know better. 9. They were at play and didn't realise teacher was nearby. Honest or just joining is with being a dick, DD knows it was unacceptable. Reinforced of course by the school and at home.

She has made comments before at home (including telling me she feels sick at home time) and I totally fucked up on that. Never made the link, assumed it was the heat that made her feel sick, kind of just shrugged it off /no big deal/not a lot you can do about it/just deal with it when she did make comments and (subconsciously)wanted to avoid an awkward conversation/email. I totally own up to that. Part of the reason I'm posting is guilt, because maybe if I did or said something neither DD or the teacher would've ended up in this situation. Or maybe I would've made things worse. I have no idea...

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Hsurbbrb Sun 13-Jun-21 15:25:42

AnUnoriginalUsername

How would you deal with it at work? Make nasty remarks in earshot of the person? Or have a quiet word with the person or their manager?

Do you expect a bunch of primary school kids to behave the same way as an adult work colleague?

Op I sympathise with your daughter. My maths teacher in my secondary school stunk to high heaven. It was just in bad in winter as in summer as she wouldn’t let us open the windows when it was cold, we were only trying to get rid of her smell. Luckily we only had to bear it for an hour at a time. I do think it’s something you can email the school about.

CuriousaboutSamphire Sun 13-Jun-21 15:27:56

Ex teacher here, so I get what you mean. There are a couple of issues that you could deal with separately.

1. Use this to underline to your DD that the conversation she joined was unpleasant and unkind.

2. You could write to school and explain that your child was undoubtedly in the wrong and that you are dealing with it at home and ask the HT to talk to the teacher about the issue she seems to have.

I worked with a few colleagues with the same issue. HoDs and HTs meet this issue on an unfortunately regular basis. Sometimes there is a medical issue, other times the individual has been caught by the weather and has no idea how to deal with it over and above usual deodorants etc, yet others are simply unaware.

As a larger woman who suffers easily from heat stroke and a physiological condition that makes my sweat response somewhat surprising, I had to learn how to cope all year round. I was usually asked to have a quiet word. It is excruciatingly embarrassing for all parties, but can be done with some semblance of dignity.

ObviousNameChage Sun 13-Jun-21 15:28:17

FrangipaniDeLaSqueegeeMop

*When I had this at work I just went in one day raving about this new deodorant i found that works wonders. Obviously, entirely different relationship and dynamic, plus being a bit sweaty myself it didn't come across as "aimed" at colleague. She asked what it was,where to buy it from, she did and it worked for her too so problem solved*

But you understand that a teacher/pupil dynamic is different than you and a colleague?


PP asked me how would I deal with it at work. That's how I dealt with it when it was a significant problem,otherwise I just try and ignore. I also don't see myself complaining to a manager about it.

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oohyoudevilyou Sun 13-Jun-21 15:28:47

The kids are in trouble because they were rude and unkind. Whether the teacher smells or not is irrelevant: They need to learn not to make nasty remarks, particularly in class.
Teacher has decided the consequence is to miss play for a week and write letters of apology. You don't need to do anything else, except reinforce that it's unkind and unacceptable (as you already have done).

Grapewrath Sun 13-Jun-21 15:31:45

Your daughter was rude and unreasonable however she abc her peers should not have to sit in the company of a grown adult who smells. Unless the teacher has a medical condition which is unlikely, she is being very unreasonable not to manage her cleanliness and create such a horrible learning environment.
I’d ask the head to sort it out tbh

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