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NEWARK, N.J. - Could clean clothes be the key to stopping bullying? In one high school in New Jersey, the answer is yes.
Akbar Cook, the principal at West Side High School, said that he just wanted to make sure that kids don’t miss school because of being bullied and that some were being picked on because of dirty clothes, WABC reported.
Some students couldn’t afford to keep their school uniforms clean, NJ.com reported.
Cook told NJ.com that students with dirty clothing would be photographed and the photos posted on social media as cyberbullying.
So instead of punishing the students for missing school, Cook, who has been principal for two weeks, kicked out the football team from their locker room and put in washers and dryers so students can do laundry.
He got a grant for $20,000 to buy five washing machines and five dryers, along with what was needed to change the locker room into a laundry, NJ.com reported.
He says being there for his kids will correlate to their grades.
“Because the kids feel that and they’ll fight on that SAT or that test the same way you fight for them,” Cook told WABC. “That’s who I am.”
The laundry room will be open for students Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting Aug. 27, before the school year starts. Then it will be open daily starting Sept. 4.