Parents sue after son forced to bathe at school

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Amber and Michael Tilley are suing the Peaster School district in Texas after their 8-year-old son was forced to strip naked and bathe by a school nurse and a counselor who told him he smelled bad and was dirty. The incident occurred back in November, and involved school employees Julie West and Debbie Van Rite. The parents say that they made a police report, but charges were never filed.

According to the lawsuit, the parents claim that their son, a third grader at Peaster Elementary, was forced to strip naked and then scrubbed “violently” by the two school workers till he was “…really sore, real tender”. They also claim that the boy was traumatized and now wants to take baths constantly, because “….he just felt so disgusting.” His first day back at school after the incident, he covered himself in cologne.

The boy’s father, Michael Tilly, says that the school had never contacted them before concerning their son’s hygiene. “The first thing I said was, ‘You ought to try to call us,'” he said. “And they said, ‘We were trying to avoid him being embarrassed.’ And I said, ‘You all did a real good job of helping that process along.'”

The Tilleys are seeking monetary damages and asking that the district “cease all harassment and retaliation” against their son.


Sources: MSNBCNew York Post,

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  • musiness

    This was child abuse. I hope the parents win the lawsuit big-time, the workers are suspended, and the child gets to go to another school, if he wants to. I hope the other children didn’t have to see him naked or hear about this incident.

    • jchristie725

      You are absolutely right, it was child abuse. But, the parents are the ones who deserve nothing less than to lose custody of their son for not forcing him themselves to shower on a regular basis. Poor hygiene is not only disgusting, it causes germs and disease that not only affect that child, but the children around him. Not only this, poor hygiene also can cause great physical, mental, and emotional harm as this boy grows older. I don’t think the school did the right thing, but the parents are the real Child Abusers in this case. I hope they lose custody for child neglect.

  • So sad…

  • Wait before you write that check!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This sounds like a get rich quick to me. Are the parents the same way? Than it becomes Social Services issues. if not why did they let him go to school this way? There are enough programs out there to help people like this that if they were not just looking for money, they would have chosen one of them. In other words; put them in a program on hygien Don’t give them the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. See what they chose!

  • rob robert

    so these filthy arsed parents send their child to school stinking and dirty and they have the GALL to sue the school? it’s probably more because they dont like that their kid wants to be clean now, not because they care about him. if they cared, they wouldnt have let him be filthy! the parents should be arrested for neglect!

  • Malachy McGuinness

    This is a story here everybody is wrong. The parents shouldn’t need the school to call them and say their son is nasty and smells bad. The school personnel should not have bathed the kid, they should have had the parents come pick him up, and not let him back untill he was clean. If this was an ongoing problem, they should have notified child welfare people.

    • heather

      i agree

    • Rae10

      Well put, some people can’t think this simple.

  • Ok, first the school should not have to call you to tell you that your child needs a bath…the school was wrong but I am quite sure they believed a call would not of helped. At least the school did not call social services but I think they should get involved because obviously they boys hygiene was questionable and so are the parentings skills in the home.

  • Possibly the kids at school were making comments and making fun of him and the school tried to help him by quickly cleaning him up instead of making it known that he was sent home for being dirty? Also, who says he was “scrubbed raw”? The parents trying to get money, or the school?

  • Who says the parents sent him to school filthy? He is an 8-year-old boy. He could have gotten dirty at recess.

    • Christina

      I’m sure if the kid was just messy from one day the school would have let him be till he got home! This poor boy probably comes to school dirty and UN-bathed often for the school employees to want to bath him! They probably felt bad for the boy cause the parents can’t notice that kids need to be bathed regularly! I’d like to see a pic of the parents!!

  • bwana

    “he smelled bad and was dirty”. Give the kid a good bath! Maybe he’s never seen a bathtub” Maybe take a whiff of the parents as well? Maybe they could do with a bath also?

  • bumsrush

    That school ought to be scrubbed raw of all their money after sexually abusing that poor boy, and the two abusers should be thrown under the jail.

    • LlarryLLama

      Since when is giving a child a bath sexual, you pervert?

      • bumsrush

        Eight years is a bit old to be bathed by a couple of handsy female perverts. I’d say a 20-year jail term would be in order. Do you think two men would get away with bathing an 8-year-old girl?

  • bumsrush

    what if it had been a dirty girl and two male employees who bathed her?

    • Why all this sexist crap. There is no difference between two female adults bathing a third grade boy and two male adults bathing a third grade girl. If the child had such bad hygiene that the child needed a bath the school should probably have sent the child home with a note to “bathe.” But for someone to think that the sex of the adults and the child makes any difference shows a level of sexism that I find quite sad and disgusting. Are we humans or are we all a bunch of ideologically blinded fools saddled with cultural norms, customs, and rituals unable to see the bigger picture? Is there even a difference anymore as illogic has become the norm these days.

      • Kevin Jackson

        Men and women aren’t the same, and they are treated differently to boot. Both sexes benefit from these differences in different ways and different circumstances. It isn’t sexist (or at least not untrue) to suggest that male teachers bathing a young girl might elicit a different reaction than female teachers bathing a young boy. It isn’t fair, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t reality. They way we deal with the sexuality of men and women is different. Surely you recognize that men and women aren’t the same physically and emotionally? The endocrine system is in fact real. We DO have differences in brain structures and abilities both physical, mental, and emotional(in general). Why do people insist on playing politically correct mental gymnastics to deny reality whilst accusing others of being sexist?

        • SeekingSomething

          I wish this was the headline on the biggest sign in Times Square for one year at least. You hit the nail on the head Mr. Poss in my opinion.

    • jchristie725

      What does it matter??? Is this one of the issues, or are you just trying to create more trouble here, where there is enough of it already? dumba$$

      • What I am saying is that some people here seemed to think it was OK that the nurses bathed the boy in school but that it would somehow have been different had male employees bathed an 8 year old girl at school. I find that to be extremely shallow and sexist. Don’t you, you dumbass?

        • LlarryLLama

          Something kinky is going on here..

  • Bone Straight

    A lot of kids were bathed at the school I went to! Parents worked early. The church school was the baby sitter for years. We learned about brushing our teeth by having our teeth brushed in the sink. Those kids who were bathed are now nurses, teachers, ministers, etc. Because it was done in a decent and orderly fashion, they remember the love. They also have respect for parents who worked long hours!

  • Erkie911

    Geez, why do people turn every incident into a windfall. I agree with those who say all parties were wrong in this situation. The school should not have taken it upon themselves to bathe the child, but they shouldn’t have even been in that position. He’s 8, not 16 and the parents are still pretty much in charge of what the child wears, and when he bathes. How the hell do you let your child go to school in such a state that he stinks to high heaven? The parents claim the child was humilated, but it was their action or non action that led to all this. Kids can be mean and brutally honest, so I dont doubt that they were calling him names and saying things about how dirty he was before the school employees decided to bathe him. Yes the school was wrong to do that as I said. But the parents do not deserve a reward for neglecting their child’s hygene!

  • Katarina Novak

    Now you’re just having fun with us, aren’t you?
    It used to be embarrassing for your kid to be dirty, now it’s apparently a cash cow.

  • lordhoot

    School should have send child home. It is not their responsibility to give any child a bath.

  • JamVee

    I guess I’d have to ask the parents if they made sure that the child had a bath every day (or at least every other day)!

  • LlarryLLama

    Two young ladies giving a boy a bath?…was this in front of his schoolmates??

  • ‘We were trying to avoid him being embarrassed.’ What a load of bullshit.

    It really is to bad that elementary schools think they can get away with anything just because they think the kids won’t have enough common sense to tell their parents. My elementary school was EXACTLY the same way.

    I even remember my third grade teacher who told me “not to tell my parents” when people were bullying me.

    I’m serious, elementary schools need to be investigated or something because all I hear are stories like theses from everyone I talk to.

  • disqus_m8HRlhzxYr

    The school was COMPLETELY wrong in bathing the child. What MORONS!! And what is wrong with the parents that the child smelled? Or did he? Did the bathers have something against this kid or his parents? In any case, the parents should have been confronted. I’m always defending teachers and school administrators but in this case I want to tell them how stupid they are. Shame on them.

  • Tilleys get over yourselves. Why would you even think about sending your child to school is a dirty/smelley condition? What is wrong with you? I remember in grade school there was always some kid that smelled like pee, and the teasing never seemed to stop for him. Wake up and stop blaming school officials for your failures.

  • harold333

    As a parent who raised two sons I can’t even imagine sending either to school without them being clean and wearing clean clothes. Every night they took a bath before bed so that their bed was kept clean between sheet changes. In my opinion the school should have contacted child welfare to investigate if the child arrived dirty every day.