An 8-year-old girl is suffering from poor attendance at school due to an unusual problem: a foul odor. The girl's mother has argued that she has taught the girl proper hygiene and even taken her to a doctor, but that has not stopped the school from sending her home a number of times since October.
"They just say it's a foul odor. She takes a bath every day, but they ask her when the last time she took a bath was and she doesn't remember," the girl's mother, Krystal Hensley, told News Channel 11. "She's been to the doctor and it's not a medical problem. They send her home at least once a month. You go to school to learn, not to be sent home."
The girl, whose name has not been released due to her young age, often tells her teachers that she cannot "remember the last time she took a bath, and/or sleeps in clothes," Hensley added, citing reports sent home by the school. Yet she is adamant that the school system is simply overreacting.
A student is only sent home in "extreme" cases of improper hygiene, according to Washington County Director of Schools Ron Dykes.
"In those cases, they are very extreme and to be quite frank, the odor is so overpowering and extremely offensive to other children and adults so some sort of homebound program is used or the child will be removed temporarily from the school until the family complies," Dykes explained.
Given that the young girl has already missed 24 days of school, she is in danger of falling behind, not to mention the psychological toll and embarrassment she may be suffering as a result of being sent home so many times. The Department of Children Services investigated at one point but does not currently have an active investigation into the Hensley home.
"Sometimes children are raised in environments that are very close to being classified as neglect and sometimes are actually placed in that category," Dykes said. "There are times when we involve DCS, but generally the conversations with the parents will discover there is a need to assist with finding a funding source or agency that can help the family through social services."
Watch a report on the situation HERE: