Smells in Class

November 8, 2012

Dear Alice: This kid in my Algebra class smells. And I’m not saying the kind where he’s mean and what not but he really smells. We’ve tried to drop him a few hints but he still smells. I know he has a home and good parents and lives in a good environment so it isn’t like he’s hopeless or anything like that. I think he just refuses to shower. It’s really distracting and gross and I can’t even be around him anymore. How can I ask him to wear deodorant or bathe without making him feel bad? -Bad Odor

Dear Bad Odor:First, try to get a teacher to handle it. A lot of times an adult saying something will be less insulting than if someone of the same age saying the same thing. If that doesn’t nip that smelly bud, then talk to him yourself. Take him aside privately and tell him that you are worried about his hygiene. Tell him that you think that for health reasons he should bathe more regularly and use deodorant to battle bacteria. It sounds stupid, but it is much softer than telling him that the class is grossed out by his smell. The biggest thing to remember is not to insult him because he may have a condition that keeps him from paying more attention to his hygiene. If all else fails ask the teacher to move your spot in the class so you aren’t distracted anymore. -Lots of Love, Alice