A principal has gone viral after installing a free-for-all laundry room to allow students who were being bullied over dirty clothes to wash their attires for free.
Akbar Cook, West Side High School’s vice principal, has known that he’s finally in a position to make worthy changes ever since he started his role at the Newark, New Jersey, high school.
With that mindset in head, Mr. Cook introduced a free laundry room in his school to help out troubled teens who were being bullied over dirty clothes.
His idea not only received an amazing response but initiated a snowball of changes.
According to Akbar, plenty of students were skipping classes because of fear of getting bullied for wearing dirty clothes when he took on his role.
Recalling one particular incident, the principal said a security officer attempted to search one girl’s bag back and was confronted by screams back in 2016. As the authorities later discovered, the girl refused to have her bag searched because she was embarrassed about dirty clothes she was carrying with her as she was temporarily homeless.
Following the implementation of Mr. Cook’s idea, the students’ attendance grew over 10% with plenty of children making use of the school’s five washing machines and five dryers.
Despite deep-rooted problems such as gun violence and poverty still remaining in the Newark community, Mr. Cook decided to do his best to do something good for his students and raise their spirits.
Affected by the young lives lost due to street violence, Cook created the Lights On program that focuses on providing a safe space for youths to hang out in during their free time.
Additionally, the principal piloted Cook Educational Solutions, a program that aims to help other educational institutions implement his initiatives.
Thanks to a large social media exposure, the principal was able to raise a lot of funds to back up his programs. He also appeared in The Ellen DeGeneres Show twice to spread awareness about the issues that some teens and urban schools are dealing with. During his second appearance in the show, the man also received a $50,000 donation.
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