Veteran teacher facing discipline for letter about smelly students

Updated:

BUFFALO, NY —

Parents in a New York school district are fired up after learning that a veteran elementary school teacher sent a note home with all her students complaining that several of her prekindergarteners were coming to school wearing dirty clothes and smelling bad, according to the Buffalo News.

In a handwritten letter titled “URGENT NOTICE!!!”, pre-K teacher Sharon D. Perry Dunnigan, who works for BUILD Academy in Buffalo, asked all parents to address the cleanliness issue, saying, “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. Enough said.”

Buffalo School Board members and parents said they are upset that a teacher would choose to handle a situation involving a few kids in a broad shaming manner, according to the Buffalo News report. The letter was not only sent out to all parents, but also required that it be returned to her with the signatures of parents and their 3- and 4-year-old children, according to Buffalo News.

Board members said Dunnigan should face more than a minor verbal reprimand.

She did not return a message seeking comment Thursday afternoon and did not teach at school Thursday or Friday.

Aside from a letter in her personnel file and possibly other disciplinary actions, board members and parents said Dunnigan will not be allowed to send home letters to parents that are not first approved by the principal, according to Buffalo News.