New Jersey high school principal installs laundry room to fight student bullying

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Thursday, August 16, 2018
New Jersey principal fights bullying with new laundry room
Toni Yates has more on the new laundry room at a Newark high school.

NEWARK, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A high school principal in New Jersey is going above and beyond to make sure his students don't skip school out of fear of being bullied.

WABC-TV reports, West Side High School Principal Akbar Cook said some students were being bullied because of their dirty clothes -- which resulted in chronic absenteeism where they would miss three to five days a month.

One time a student didn't want her bags checked to enter the school because she was embarrassed to be carrying dirty clothes while she was homeless.

Cook said he kicked the football team out of their locker room to install washers and dryers for students to do their laundry.

The principal has only had his job for just two weeks, but he is already vowing to always fight for his students.

"Because the kids feel that and they'll fight on that SAT or that test the same way you fight for them," Cook said. "That's who I am."

When news of Cook's addition to the school hit social media, the community started to donate laundry detergent and dryer sheets so students can do their laundry completely free of cost.

The laundry room will be open for students Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning Aug. 27.

"When school starts on September the 4th, my kids will be able to use it daily after school," Cook said.


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