Free school laundry helps combat bullying over dirty clothes

- Seeing a laundry room inside a high school is not common. But Newark's West Side High now has one.

Administrator Maaka Depa said many kids get bullied because of their clothes, especially if their attire isn't clean. Some students were missing three to five days a week because of bullying. She added that many come from homes that are struggling financially and some have no home at all.

Football captain Prince Okituama, who uses the washing machines, told Fox 5 that he has witnessed kids being teased.

The PSE&G Foundation gave the school a $20,000 grant to buy five washers and five dryers. Donations of laundry supplies started pouring in once the word got out. And not just from the Newark community.

Administrator Ayesha Cross said the school even received supplies from Texas and California, and someone called from Canada to ask how they could donate.

The laundry room is open five days a week to any student who wants to use it after school. It is part of West Side High's commitment to no bullying while perhaps also serving as a lesson in home economics.

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