West Side High School welcomes laundry room to stop bullying
A Newark high school principal decided to add a laundry room in the school after students were getting bullied for having dirty clothes.
Principal Akbar Cook of West Side High School came up with the idea two years ago when he saw a disturbing incident between a student and a security guard in 2016. The student had hurled a bottle of water at a security guard's face and was sent to a police station. Police later called the school and told them that the student had a bag of dirty clothes and had been homeless for weeks.
The problem was much bigger than one student. Bullying had reached an extreme at the high school as 85 percent of students were missing three to five days of class a month because they didn't want to be ridiculed for having dirty clothing.
The locker room for the football team is not the West Side High Laundry Room. The space has five commercial dryers and five commercial washers.
Athletes have already started to use the laundry room and it will be open to students Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.