A Teenage Boy Decides To Make A Difference After Seeing His Classmates Bullied For Wearing Dirty Clothes

Many students do not have access to laundry services and miss school out of fear of being teased.

young man sitting in laundromat Romain Robe / Unsplash

In the United States, one in five students between the ages of 12 to 18 report being bullied during the school year, with approximately 166,000 teenagers admitting that they have skipped school due to bullying. Victims can find themselves a target due to various reasons, one of them being physical appearance and clothing. 

After one high school student discovered first hand that some of his peers were feeling self-conscious about their clothing and missing school because of it, he decided to take action that would make their lives easier and encourage them to come back to school without the fear of being teased. 


The high school student introduced a laundry room in the school, complete with a washer, dryer, and detergent. 

In September 2022, the senior class president of Lacey Township High School, Jimmy Tomredle, learned that some of his classmates were skipping school since they had no clean clothes to wear and were concerned about being bullied. 

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Wanting to make a positive impact and his classmates feel more comfortable, the 18-year-old delved into some research and came across the story of West Side High School Principal, Akbar Cook, who installed five pairs of washers and dryers in the football team’s locker room so that students could do their laundry for free. 


Cook’s decision was inspired after he noticed students were chronically absent from school due to not having any clean clothes. Some of them were homeless and were unable to access washers and dryers. 

As a project for his Leadership Academy of Humanities Program, Tomredle worked alongside school staff and local appliance stores to ensure that his fellow students would be able to use laundry services at the school free of charge. He composed and sent several letters to appliance stores in the area before he received a response from Anchor Appliance in West Creek, who donated a washer and dryer to the school. 

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After school custodians installed the appliances in the school’s community closet, “Tomredle’s Terrifically Tidy Laundry Services” was officially open for use. 

The grand opening day was complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, speeches, and a turnout of over 60 people, including the school district’s superintendent, teachers, students, and Tomredle’s close friends and family. 

In order for students to use the laundry room, they must make an appointment via Google Forms and a teacher must be present while laundry is being done. 

Tomredle provided a few of his own laundry detergent bottles to kick off the grand opening of the laundry room, however now he has started a detergent donation drive, asking others for detergent, dryer sheets, and other laundry products.


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Many students who do not have access to laundry services do not attend school due to fears of being bullied. 

Tomredle’s actions have more of an impact on students than he may ever know. According to West Side High School Principal Akbar Cook, 85% of the student body at his school were missing three to five days of school a month since they did not have any clean clothes to wear. 

Students reported that those who wore dirty clothes to school easily became a target of bullying, with their classmates making remarks about how they were “dirty” and that they “smelled.” One student even fought a security guard, refusing to allow him to check her backpack since she was homeless and had dirty clothes in her bag. “She was fighting for her pride,” Principal Cook told CNN.

According to a study consisting of 600 public school teachers, conducted by Whirpool, a home appliance company, the link between absenteeism and no access to laundry services is high. It was discovered that one in five students do not have access to clean clothing, and often miss school because of it. 


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Like Tomredle, Whirlpool is dedicated to combating bullying and encouraging students to attend school. In 2017, the company donated washers and dryers to 12 schools. After one year, 93% of students who utilized the appliances reported an improvement in attendance. 

No student should have to fear that they will be ridiculed and teased because they do not have the proper means to wash their clothes.


If every school was dedicated to making their students feel safe and comfortable, they would ensure that they had access to laundry services that allow them to wash their clothes and feel confident walking through the hallways. It's time more students and school staff begin having these conversations to ensure positive changes.

For anyone interested in donating laundry supplies to “Tomredle’s Terrifically Tidy Laundry Services,” you can drop off products at Lacey Township High School located at 73 Haines Street in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.