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Cody Medina
Cody Medina
October 28, 2023 ·  4 min read

My Son’s Teacher Embarrassed Him In Front of His Class; Made Him Put on Deodorant at School. What Should I Do?

Every kid has to go through the smelly phase of their life. We all know just how self-conscious we are at that age about our appearance let alone smells. However, it’s even worse when someone draws attention to it. Last year in 2019, a member of the Mama’s Uncut Facebook Community reported that her son was sent home with a note from his teacher. The note claimed that her son, as well as two other boys, were sent to the nurses to put on deodorant. Do you think this teacher did the right thing? Read the mother’s post below.

Deodorant And Stress

Portrait of upset tween boy reading in school library on background with other students and teacher

“My son came home Friday from school with a note saying he and two other boys in his class need deodorant. He said in class his teacher approached all three and said they have body odor so she sent them to the nurse for deodorant. My son refused to put it on because he already wears deodorant every day. He said his best friend has a medical issue so he wears a special kind. He didn’t tell the teacher it wasn’t him when placed on the spot because he didn’t want his friend laughed at or made fun of alone. She wanted him to bring deodorant with him today and to put it on when she tells him to make sure he is wearing it.”

Worried Mom

Middle aged asia people old mom holding hands trust comfort help young woman talk crying stress relief at home. Mum as friend love care hold hand adult child feel pain sad worry of life crisis issues.

It’s pretty obvious from this mom’s worry that she wants to say something to the school nurse. It’s even more demeaning for her son’s friend who has a medical condition for his body odor. The fact that her son took the blame just for the sake of not drawing attention to his friend says a lot. This teacher should’ve taken all things into consideration with these kids.

Perhaps she doesn’t know about this medical condition. Even if she doesn’t, does she have the right to put these pre-teen boys on the spot for their odor? This is the time in their lives where ‘fitting in’ plays an important role in their social development. Nobody wants the finger pointed at them at this age.

Is This The Right Decision?

Young caucasian teenage boy using antiperspirant in the morning

“I’m a big stickler about hygiene. I watch my son apply deodorant every morning along with brushing teeth, hair, etc. I called the school and am waiting on a callback. My son doesn’t want to even go to class because he doesn’t like his teacher anymore and she embarrassed him. He’s 11yrs old and in 6th grade. What would you guys do? Should I call the school board? Also, there is a special app I have to communicate with the teacher. I feel she should have notified me via app not a note with all the boy’s names.”

The concerned mother continues to explain the situation

Boy in t-shirt with wet mark under arm area, sweat armpit with unpleasant smell because of hormone imbalance in puberty teen concept

In this situation, it’s hard to know what exactly the right thing to do is. Especially since this involves someone else’s child who has a medical condition. It might be wise for her to contact the other parents who received the same notes from their kids. It might be even more important for the mother of the child with the medical condition to provide this information to those who need it (ie. select school staff).

What Other Parents Think

education, learning and people concept - group of students with books writing school test

Many parents responded to her question with various perspectives. Some believe that the teacher did nothing wrong and that this was her way of trying to help. However, there are some parents that disagree and this teacher was trying to bully these sixth graders. Although, some of them made good points about why this is a normal thing at this age. A lot of them agree that the way that this teacher handled this situation might not have been the best decision. Perhaps if she had used the app, a lot of these feelings could’ve been avoided.

Be Mindful

Tired teenager with acne skin holds his head protecting eyes from sunlight with arm on front while showing braces with trees in the background

The solution of taking your deodorant to school to prove you’re wearing it may not as encouraging as you’d think. Of course, all students should be aware of their body’s overall well-being. This includes being mindful of your hygiene and appearance. For some students, this can be easier said than done.

Obviously, if you have a medical condition, it’s a different story. Already being self-conscious about your smell and taking prescription-strength deodorant can be embarrassing to some, especially at that age. Let alone being put on the spot about it. Hopefully, the other mother feels similar outrage and wants to help remedy the situation. Should she speak to the teacher, or maybe the principal or school board? Proper communication is a must. What do you think this mom should do?

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