Parents Amber and Michael Tilley are suing two Texas school employees for allegedly forcing their third-grade son to strip and shower in front of them, Courthouse News reports.
School administrators at Peaster Elementary School in Weatherford, Texas say the eight year-old boy was singled out because he "smelled badly, was dirty and had bad hygiene," according to the New York Post.
Last November, school officials brought the boy to the nurse's office, forced him to remove his clothes, and "began violently washing his body with a washcloth, scrubbing him over a large portion of his body, stuck cotton balls in his ears, all while ridiculing and harassing him about being 'dirty,'" the complaint states.
The two school employees named in the suit are Julie West and school nurse Debbie Van Rite.
The parents claim that West and Van Rite told their son that he and his backpack would be sprayed down every day so he wouldn't smell, and additionally told him, "If you ever come to school dirty again[,] we will strip you buck naked and throw you in the shower and scrub you down," according to Courthouse News.
The Tilleys say that the boy was severely shaken from the ordeal and had to see a therapist afterward. They maintain that their son did not have a body odor problem, but even if he did smell badly, the school officials did not have a right to do what they did.
"It's terrible, and we don't want anything like that to happen to any other children," Amber Tilley told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
West and Van Rite are not the only teachers alleged to have overreacted to perceived body odor among students.
Last year, Elizabeth Davies, a 48 year-old pre-school teacher in Wales, sprayed Indian and Bangladeshi students with air freshener because, she claimed, they smelled of curry.
As she would spray the children, she would reportedly say, "This waft is coming in from paradise." She also alledgedly made children who broke wind wash their hands with disinfectant, The Telegraph reported.