Mom surprised by media attention

Jim Hildebrand and Andrew Robinson
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Son’s spraying with Febreze by teacher makes cross-country headlines

Patti Rideout says she’s taken aback by the national media attention sparked by her complaint to a school board after her son was sprayed with Febreze by his teacher. — Photo by The Pilot

Patti Rideout is somewhat overwhelmed by the attention she’s received since the story of a teacher spraying her son with air freshener made provincial and national news. 

She said she’s been contacted by various media outlets since the story came to light.

It started with a letter she faxed to the Nova Central School District on Feb. 5, in which she expressed outrage over what had happened to 10-year-old Christian at Twillingate Island Elementary.

“On Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, my son Christian Roberts had caplin for his lunch. This is what he wanted,” she wrote.  “When he came home from school at the end of the day, I noticed that he was very quiet. I asked him what was wrong and he wouldn’t answer me right away. I told him that I knew something was wrong because he was not himself. He told me that when he went back to school after lunch he was teased by his classmates and other kids in the school and kids on the school bus because he smelled like fish because he had caplin for his dinner.

“He told me that his teacher … took him outside of the classroom for one full period. He told me that she sprayed him with some kind of household spray like room deodorizer or Febreze. He then went back to his regular class.”

She says when Christian told her what had happened at the school, he said, “I must have been really smelly or dirty for her to do that. I asked (the teacher) for a hug, but she would not hug me.”

Rideout describes her son as “a real Newfoundlander.”

“He’s not into the video games and things like that,” she said. “He’d rather be outdoors and he loves fishing. If I knew that giving him caplin for his dinner was going to be a problem, I would have waited and given it to him for his supper.”

She says she’s shielded him from media coverage and says he’s not aware of the attention the incident has created.

“I don’t want this to happen to another child,” Rideout said. “The kids are picking on my son every day. She is the homeroom teacher so she must see what is going on.”

She’s concerned about how the incident has affected her son.

“He is very embarrassed by his teacher and does not want to return to school,” she said.

Rideout’s letter to the school board also outlined the actions she took after she learned about the situation.

“… I called (the teacher) and asked her why she didn’t call me if there was a problem. I asked her why she sprayed him, and she said she did it because he smelled like caplin. I then went on to ask her what she sprayed him with and she hung up on me.

“I called (the teacher) back and she didn’t answer the phone. The next morning (Feb. 3/12), I called the school and spoke to the vice-principal because the principal wasn’t there. The vice-principal told me that she was sure that (the teacher) didn’t mean to spray Christian.

“I was very upset and told the vice-principal that she could have called me if there was a problem and I could have come to the school and picked Christian up rather than him being embarrassed and made fun of by other kids and sprayed by his teacher. I asked the vice-principal to have (the teacher) call me to apologize and I have not received the call. … I feel that my son was bullied by his teacher. I am writing this letter because I want you to be aware of what happened.”

Rideout has since received a written apology.

Twillingate Island Elementary sent her a letter dated Feb. 6, signed by principal David K. Dove and vice-principal Tonia Gillard.

“(We) … acknowledge the unfortunate incident that occurred involving your son,” they wrote. “On behalf of the teacher concerned and the school, I would extend an apology to you and your son regarding the manner in which this issue was dealt with on Thursday.”

The letter also noted the school takes the matter seriously and will take the following actions immediately:

“• We have met with the teacher concerned and she regrets her actions;

“• We have consulted with the Nova Central School District on this matter;

“• We offer you this letter of sincere apology and a commitment that it will never happen again;

“• As a result of this incident, you have made us aware of some ongoing bullying issues being experienced by your son at the hands of other students. We will arrange that your child will be supported by all the resources we have available in our school to address future bullying issues that come to our attention;

“• The teacher has offered to make an apology to your son in front of the class.”

Rideout had been calling for the teacher to be fired, but has since mellowed somewhat.

According to Nova Central School District, an investigation is underway and the teacher is on paid leave. 

While the Nova Central School District declined an interview Tuesday, a spokesperson for the school district said such matters are taken seriously and they regret this situation occurred.


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Recent comments

    February 15, 2012 - 10:26


  • leah
    February 13, 2012 - 09:42

    Im going out to buy some fabreze to spray my daughters coat from the smell of my daughter smoking cigeretts-This mom is sickening-she needs some real counciling.

  • Anyone
    February 10, 2012 - 01:13

    First of all I blame the mother for either sending this lunch or making this lunch at home for her child without thinking about the odor it would cause. If it was done at home, she should have noticed the odor herself and made him change his clothes. if she sent to to school because "he wanted it", she should have told him the odor of fish was too much for a school lunch. It was her job to protect him. Second the teacher overstepped her own line as a teacher. If his odor was so bad she should have quietly removed him from the classroom and taken him to the principal's office where the mother should have been called. It was not her job to police odors and try to eradicate them, it was her job to teach, that is why there are principals and their offices, to deal with these kinds of issues. She took too much on herself. Thirdly, the mother is now using this for fame. Having her picture in the news, what's up with that. Giving interviews, another horror. She herself should have gone to the school and talked to the people in charge, not make a public display of it with phone calls and faxes. Poor little guy, those he should have been able to count on all let him down. I hope he can overcome this, it has been made into a huge mountain he will have to climb over successfully if he can.

  • Frustrated
    February 09, 2012 - 22:45

    WELL, MY OH MY, after reading all the above comments I feel I need to have a little something to say regarding this issue. First, I need to make it clear that I, as a parent, would have taken steps to contact the school and the teacher involved if my child were caught in any given situation as such. Might I say as well, I feel the teacher may have made the wrong judgement call and I think I may be safe in saying she feels the same way right about now.......don't know, haven't talked to the lady....just assuming. BUT, ONE THING THAT FRUSTRATES ME is the fact that the rest of the grade five 10 year old are somewhat made out to be little savages..for the want of a better word. WELL, I have a little someone in that particular classroom who hasn't been present for a couple of days due to an illness. However while at home recuperating the open line was on in the house. Might I add as well, the parents of the child are very strict when it comes to allowing their children to be subjected to any gossip, not so good movies to watch,etc., etc. so the open line was most certainly not on for the child to listen to. .However, this child did hear one caller to open line. Later on in the afternoon I visited my little someone and based on what was heard during that one call, here is what was said.I was addressed. and then I heard '' THAT IS NOT HOW IT HAPPENED" When I questioned the child I was told "When they went to class someone said, What's that smell? The child in question said "I had caplin for dinner and proceeded to chase everyone around the class trying to hug them saying I'm going to put my stinky smell on you. He chased my little one and the little ones friend and went on to others . I questioned my child as to at any given time did anyone bully him. The answer was NO. With him going around the class trying to hug everyone to put his stinky smell on them, my guess is that it may have gotten somewhat out of hand and it's to my understanding the teacher then said,"Come outside my dear let's see what I can do for you." SO PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE my dear people don't look at these other dear 10 year olds as being the biggest bullies that ever walk. THAT IS SO NOT SO. There has been a GREATTTTT misunderstanding surrounding this whole situation and as I said earlier, I could not help but shed some light around what I know of the situation. Also I'm sure the teacher thought she was helping...yes, she no doubt made a wrong judgement call but please let us try not to be too judgemental. Hope I haven't offended any one.......Hugs to you all..

    • andrew
      February 11, 2012 - 13:42

      this is rediculous i hope the teacher gets fired. how dare she treat a child like that!!!. bullying seriously hurts people and now this boy has become another victom. when will this madness end? why do people gain so much from taking so much away from others. that teacher doesn't deserve to work she need a slap upside the head at the very least. !!!

  • Barb
    February 09, 2012 - 18:53

    I am a little surprised at the reaction of everyone to this story. First this teacher has enforced the bullying and ridicule of students and teacher. Get over it , it was only fish. Personally I love fish. But I would not like to be sprayed by anyone for my food choice. People are so phony on some of there comments , it's kind of sicking. Really. This mother did what she thought was right, good for her. Even if she did not come forward with this story the bulling was not going to stop. Everyone is sooo afraid that this mother might be getting her pocket padded, it's sicking. Some people don't change anything until something is done, inclining padding her pocket. This is Newfoundland isn't it ? When did everyone decide when you can eat fish. It someone smelling of garlic or curry came in to school and this happened everyone would say good for them . Really people get over yourself. I say good for the mother!!! Even if she didn't come forward with this story.The bullying by students and teacher would not have stopped. Really people fight for the right things and people's rights . Don't always think of your right's only. Really.I am very disappoint in the newfoundland people's on this matter. This is your culture. Really Where has your proud gone Newfoundland. Your even changing your way of speech to suit other,s , it's really sicking. Really Not much proud to be a Newfoundlander anymore.

    February 09, 2012 - 09:00

    So just look at her all happy for the camera...does anyone else think that she is enjoying this? Shielding and protecting her boy? Maybe the boy needs protecting from her? The teacher may have sprayed a little bit on the child’s what...why the big deal over that? Kids in the classroom were teasing the child for having the smell of fish on him....big deal...this has been going on since Adam and eve and will continue on earth as long as humans are here! Bullying...come on...get a grip on reality...allot worse goes on in the world! There are 2 victims here: The teacher who tried to help the boy is being vilified as a bully a witch who's being burned at the stake. The Boy who until the mother decided to tell the world could have went back to school and it would have been forgotten about now has to deal with being branded for the rest of his school years as the "Kaplin Kid" I think the Mother, media and others really need to think about the damage that has been done to both the teacher and the boy over what I would consider to be something that started out so minor and has snowballed into a national outcry!!

  • walter taylor
    February 09, 2012 - 05:47

    I feel sorry for the boy for having such a stupid mother. On the front page of the paper. Shielded him? Really? This woman needs a lesson in common sense and parenting.

  • Chris
    February 08, 2012 - 20:15

    I have been in the classroom as a teacher for quite a while now.... I have had to endure BO, cigarette smoke and kids who have looked as if the last time they saw water was when they crossed a brook and fell in. I DO NOT support the media attention that Mom sought BUT I would not allow anyone to embarass my child either through spraying something on them or whatever, ie verbal abuse (which does happen). Now I ask you if a child came nto a classroom smelling of garlic, curry etc., would it then be okay to Frebreeze a child??? Food for thought!! BTW The Pacquet did the interview, photgraphed the mother and just maybe she didn't have the common dog to know that The Telegram owns all of these tiny local papers.

    • Ignorant Townie
      February 09, 2012 - 08:47

      You're a teacher, huh? I sure hope your subject isn't English.

    • Chris with two posts
      February 09, 2012 - 21:28

      @ ignorant Townie.... good name for you!! I have two posts here and except for a few typos etc., ie. some keys are sticky!! FTR Iggy... I am an English major.... too bad you didn't have something constructive to say. Bahahaha!

  • Susan
    February 08, 2012 - 19:40

    I think that the Mom should have known better than to serve her son caplin and send him back to school. Everyone who has ever cooked it knows how the smell gets into everything. I would say the teacher was put in a no win situation. The Mom is not concerned with the feelings of her son.....if she believes that he is unaware of the publicity....she is delusional. Poor little kid.

    • Malerie
      February 08, 2012 - 22:21

      I disagree with the comments that are being made regarding the mothers intentions regarding this case. I myself am a 20 year old university student who went through a similar incidence of bullying in my final year of high school. At the time I was 18 and went to the school administration myself. Not only did I not receive an apology, I had to stay home for two weeks after the incidence to avoid the cruel comments from classmates that were made in front of teachers. This situation still haunts me today. I think it is admirable that the little boys mother stood up for herself and for her son because it only gets worse from here. School boards and teachers can not be allowed to get away with bullying on any level. There is far too much going on in our schools today, and to his Mom I say BRAVO!

  • Hilton Ruggles
    February 08, 2012 - 16:48

    That mother now has put the child in a position to be bullied the rest of his life. Way to go mom, you got your 15 minutes in the spotlight, even posed for your picture in front of the fireplace, convenient. Yes, the teacher did wrong and has owned up to her wrongdoing, now mom you will never be able to own up to your own as your child will be ridiculed for life. Keep him out of the media was your plan? Putting yourself on the cover and having your picture taken wasn't the answer. You are now the mom with the caplin smelling kid wherever you are seen.

  • BG
    February 08, 2012 - 16:03

    It seems to me that no matter what the teacher did that day it would have been the wrong thing. Just imagine what the mom would have done if the teacher gave the boy a hug. I believe that if the teacher called the mom to pick the boy up because he was smelly the same thing would have happened. It was a no win situation that day for the teacher. From everything I have read it seems the mom is not too concerned with the problem that started all this...being bullied by his classmates. She is now sending her child back to school because the teacher is suspended. His classmates are still there and the bullying will continue. What did you solve mom by handling it this way???

  • Hernanda
    February 08, 2012 - 15:57

    I can not believe the comments that people in this day of age are making! The child is being put in the line of fire so a speak by all of the people who are treating him like a freek. The people who should have punished were the kids who were commenting and making this little boy feel uncomfortable. I have small kids too and one is the same age, she loves fish and if she wanted it to take to school I would let her but there are kids with allergies. But what makes me made is you don't see teachers treating kids who go to school smelling like ciggerette smoke like they should be sprayed or punished. I think this little guy should be commended for his keeping the Newfoundland tradition and eating what he loves no matter what.Keep your head up sweetie!

  • Newfoundlander
    February 08, 2012 - 15:31

    I, for one, DO NOT agree with what this teacher has done. BUT I do agree that the parent is looking for attention. She said in an earlier statement that she was "outraged" with how the teacher handled it. Now we see a picture of her with a grin on her face??? As for shielding her son. She didn't mind having his name plastered everywhere. She should have just dealt with this issue quietly with her and the school board. This poor child will be bullied more now for sure!

  • Jason
    February 08, 2012 - 15:15

    This story sickens me. The mom is only making things 100x worse for her child with all this media publicity. Sick.

  • Melinda Conway
    February 08, 2012 - 15:04

    Mother of 3 I feel that this teacher did some wrong and not only with spraying this child. If teachers are allowed to take situations in their own hands, then they should be held accountable. You say that a school is scent free, then why did this teacher have a can of air freshener? Also, what if this child had an allergic reaction to being sprayed? Did this teacher do right? No, she did not. She should have called the child's mother and explained the situation and asked for her to bring clothes for the child or take him home. With that said, the parent is also responsible in that fish or any of its kind should not be sent to school with the amount of allergies rising in children and also adults. I thought all schools were following "no fish, peanuts and etc." in schools. In the case of bullying, the teacher did nothing to stop this from happening, which I believe she could have controlled in some way. This is being promoted in schools but teachers are not being taught to handle this the right way. I see it all the time as I have 3 children and I here all kinds of bullying in the school as well as my youngest was bullied to the point she was punched, kicked, bite and smacked. The teacher and the school did not report it at all and they were not concerned with what happened to my child but rather that of the offender. It is a parent;s right to try and shield their child. I believe Mrs. Rideout is doing right and speaking out against this. Teachers need to be held accountable for what they do to children in their care. As a parent we trust these individuals with the proper care of those we hold dear to our hearts, our children. They see more of our treasures then that of the parents. They cannot just go ahead and feel free to do anything they want. She did do something that goes against what most every place is now doing and that is "go scent free". I also noted that the principle and vice-principle has apologized but what of the teacher? Am I wrong in that assumption? It seems she has offered to do this in front of the class, has it been done? The apology is a bit to late for this concerned mother!!!!!

  • just another voice
    February 08, 2012 - 15:02

    I'm sure the mom must realize by now that she made a serious error by going public with this story. I read somewhere that she said her son will need counselling after all that has happened-someone please tell me there will be counselling for the mom too and provide her with some life skills. When we know better, we do better.

  • Cheryl
    February 08, 2012 - 14:51

    This mother should be taught parenting classes. She does not want to bring any notice to her son!!! Well, Guess What, every bully in the classroom will now be bullying him outside the class. This story will probably follow him through the rest of his school days. The teacher was trying to make a bad situation better. shame on the mother for wanting to be in the spotlight.

  • L.Jones
    February 08, 2012 - 14:48

    People- get a grip! A teacher sprayed a boy with Febreze, not a cleaner or harsh chemicals! She would have been aware if he had allergies to the order remover. He stank of Fish! And was being made fun of- so why not help the poor bugger out by fixing what the kids were making fun of him for. Do you think they'll stop teasing now that its in the media and his picture is plastered all over the news? Have some sense Mom. Look at her in the picture- If you didn't know what the story was about you'd think she'd won a prize. Enjoy your 15.

  • Mother
    February 08, 2012 - 14:43

    Oh come on already. The mother claims to be shielding her son??? His name is printed in the article (not to mention the photos behind her)!!!!! As well as what school he goes to. I think she should have handled it in a more private manner instead of dragging her son into the middle of a whole media outbreak about the incident. And surprised by media attention? I'm sure she went to every outlet she could find, and i'm sure she's not turning down the opportunity to speak to anyone who wants to listen. Yes, she might be upset, but handle it and move on with a little dignity for yourself and your son. The whole thing is already the brunt of jokes... and who would have even known had you not gone public with it?? Things can be handled just as effectively in a private manner if you know how to communicate properly. Time to move on, other parents have far worse things to worry about. I just feel bad for the little boy who is in the middle of it all. Way to draw more attention to an already embarassed child.

  • J
    February 08, 2012 - 14:19

    She looks exactly as I pictured she would but the little grin is the best. The mother should be ashamed for going to the media if she had the best intentions of her son at heart. Sanctimonious comes to mind.

  • oldtown
    February 08, 2012 - 14:12

    Fire the teacher.

  • Mindy
    February 08, 2012 - 14:11

    The boy is the person that hurts in this situation. Maybe he is sorry that he said anything and will he say anything in the future. This ten year old boy was bullied in the past -- well he is going to have a harder time now. With attention brought on with this issue he will take the blunt of it all. To the teacher she should had taken the oppourtunity to use the problem that day to teach the children about foods/smell/cooking etc.She should had got the class engaged in open conversation. Stare the problem away from the young boy and deal with the bullies. Her judgement was poor that day. Mom: You said you would had gone to the school to pick up your child that day then what was wrong you could not go to the school the following day and discuss this problem in person and PRIVATE. Avoid all this telephone matter and media circus. An issue that went out of control.....

    • SD
      February 08, 2012 - 15:31

      It is amazing how this story reached such media frenzy! This should have been handled privately but instead this parent has opened the doors for a long life of ridicule for her son. Did she think about her son or have his best interest at heart when she went to the MEDIA or posed for THE TELEGRAM? – obviously not! Social media, internet, archived articles etc will forever be available for all the read – not that this story has any real substance! When Ms. Rideout prepared this lunch for her son on that particular day, did she consider the others feelings or what they would have to endure all afternoon from the stench on his clothes upon his return? Not everyone likes fish or the odor it creates as it is cooking. This mother should have used better common sense and consideration for her son’s teacher & classmates and not subjected them to its strong smell during this afternoon of classes. MOM made an error in judgment but she continues to make these errors the more she poses for pictures and cries out for attention. I honestly don’t think the actions of this teacher were meant to harm this young boy and she should be commended for trying to help him instead. As a proud Newfoundlander and a parent of a family who loves fried fish, I keep a bottle of Febreeze close by to rid the odor on the fabric of my kid’s clothes as they head out the door. They don’t like the “reek” of fish on their clothes or want their friends to smell it off them either! Shame on all who want to sensationalize this matter!! Ms. Rideout only showed her son that good intentioned people who try to help them out of a stinky situation, should think twice - don’t. She herself should apologize to his teacher and set an example for her son – not using this media circus ring for her own pleasure – but by the look on her face it is too late - she is already enjoying this immensely. Ms. Rideout is not showing us that she is a parent outraged by the so called actions of a teacher – but a woman who is taking full advantage of a situation for her own personal moment of fame!

  • Why do Teachers even try to Teach
    February 08, 2012 - 14:06

    As much as people are saying shame on the teacher for the emabarasment she caused the child. I say shame on this parent. This parent decided the impact the event would have on her child, not the teacher or the bullies. It was a missed opportunity for a life lesson for this child. When he came home from school and told her the chain of events that day, if she had to say "That was nice of Mrs so and so to try and help you out, lets make her a thank you card for tomorrow", and then make the call in private later to to explain her concerns and the approach she would like to see happen in the future. This could have potential to have eliminated all the embarrasment for this child or any future embarasment, It would have left him with a safe place in his teacher in case bullying happens again. Now he will not tell his Teacher or his Mother. Instead the Mother decided to call the Teacher with her own bully tactics. Saying she is sheilding the child from the media and the events. I'm sorry she don't go to school with this child and sheilding him will hurt him more, because kids will be kids and someones child is going to mention it to him leaving him with a bigger sense of embarrasment than anything. All I wonder is when is the School Board expected to pay out the lump sum of money this parent will sue for in the end?

    • Melinda Conway
      February 08, 2012 - 15:19

      Oh please, You don't really believe that, do you? The teacher in question should not have sprayed the child at all considering its suppose to be scent free. Come on people, teachers need to think of what they do to children not their own. While I feel the parent is not in the clear, and yes it could have been taken care of more quietly, both sides need to take responsibility for their own actions. The teacher did not apologize but the principle and vice- principle. The teacher is willing to apologize but has not. The teacher could of addressed the bullying but did not. The parent has the right to speak up for her child. Every person involved did not take the right path for this child. I feel Mrs. Rideout is aware of "No Fish" in schools and should have realized that caplin would have been better served at supper rather than dinner. I can see both sides, as everyone reading this should. Both sides are responsible for their actions and should be held accountable. No good blaming one or the other for something that has already happened and we should all learn from the experience for the sake of this child and from happening to others.

  • SaskNewfie
    February 08, 2012 - 14:02

    I know this is a serious story, but I did find it amusing at first. That was before I read that the kid was ridiculed by classmates. On a side note, I really don't think the mom should have packed something like caplin for lunch. Personally, I don't enjoy the smell of fish and when its smell is strong, it actually makes me nauseated. I've been at workplaces in other parts of the country where the fastest way to clear out a lunchroom is for someone to bring in strong-smelling Some fish don't give off a strong odor, but caplin Sometimes people should use a little common sense...if they don't have that, then perhaps common courtesy, which both the teacher and mom lacked in this case; the mom for packing and the teacher for spraying.

  • Paul
    February 08, 2012 - 13:52

    this has gotten way out of hand. the teacher , IMO, made a mistake in putting the boy out of the class then spraying him. what ever her intentions, her actions justified the bullies and isolated the victim. the correct action would have been to shut down the teasing and ignore the 'smell'. The boy might have gone home to tell his mother not to cook capelin for lunch on a school day anymore...this would have been done and over with. That said, I think the mother has over reacted.

  • Crazy Story
    February 08, 2012 - 13:45

    This lady amazes me. She states she has 'shielded him from media coverage and says he’s not aware of the attention the incident has created.'. Does she honestly believe that. They now have his name attached to the story. Incredible how people can attack another person and fact that the person being attacked is a teacher cannot defend herself. I cannot wait to hear the 2nd side of the story. Ms Rideout, you have done nothing to protect your child and have went well beyond getting the attention you so desired and not looking after best interests of your child. I guess your next move is lawsuit and pad your pocket and forget your child

  • lexy
    February 08, 2012 - 13:40

    The mother should have used common sense, if you fry fish for lunch of course your clothes and whoever else in in the kitchen is going to smell like fish! She should have gotten her son to change his clothes before returning to school. The teacher should have sent the boy to the office to call his mom and ask her to pick him up. Both the teacher and mother handled the whole situation badly.

  • Disgusting Teaching Methods
    February 08, 2012 - 13:31

    My Gawd, There clearly are a lot of people on this feed who a) is not a parent and b) have never felt ostracized or embarrassed publically by a trusted person of authority. The bottom line was the teacher did something to this child that no one would want be hauled out of the classroom for something that he could not control at the time and then spray him with a perfumed chemical. It's irrelevant how much publicity this has garnered. What is relevant is that this teacher will definitely think twice about doing something like this again. Teachers are not infallible individuals, they too are capable of mistakes, and this parent ensured that this teached was aware of that and will pay for her mistake. Good on this parent to voice her concerns for her child and demand something be done after such a show of insolence from the teacher.

    • Parent
      February 08, 2012 - 14:00

      My God, how can anyone agree with what this teacher done!!! We trust these people with our kids, they are suppose to protect them!! What she did was so wrong, I think she should have focused on the kids who were bulleying this child!!The child only had fish for dinner, so what??? And to think the teacher was sent home on leave with pay, she was laughing all the way to the bank, so to speak!!! This little child is gonna suffer the consequences of all of this, and I can honestly say that as a Mom I would do the same thing, maybe more, because I would march to that school and take things into my own hands, that school should be ashamed!!!!!

  • teacher Mom
    February 08, 2012 - 13:06

    I've been following this story, and as both a mother and a teacher, I think that the teacher was doing what she thought was best for that child at that moment. Clearly there have been bullying issues, and she was trying to help the boy, nothing more. Schools are supposed to be scent free, yes, and truthfully, the teacher was trying to accomplish this by doing what she did. Who hasn't sprayed Febreeze on their coat (or their child's coat) after visiting a smoker's home? If the child was traumatized, he would not have asked for a hug. Fish allergies are more common now, and someone could have had a reaction to the fish smell - so when talking about the possiblity of an allergic reaction, don't discount that. As parents, we all struggle to make the best possible world for our children, and try to protect them from all harm, but in this case, I think that the mother has gone too far. Calling for this woman to lose her job for trying to help ... what is that going to accomplish? As it is, this woman's career is tarnished, and she will likely think twice the next time someone asks her for help. Here's something else to think about: teachers are ALWAYS teachers. You see them at the grocery store or in a restaurant and they're still "miss." We take work home with us, we're in our classrooms during weekends and holidays, and we deal with 30+ children a day (think about that when your own two are arguing and you can't hear yourself think), we provide the stickers on tests and classroom activity supplies from our own pockets, and we make ourselves available for any child who needs help or a friendly shoulder. And we don't expect thanks - most of us do what we do because we love it. But in this teacher's case, her thanks is an angry phone call to her home, and when she refuses to engage the parent, it becomes this. I feel for the boy and the teacher. The mother needs to sit down and take a look as what she's done. Yes, there should be apologies; but the teacher, school and school board aren't the only ones who should have something to say.

  • Chris P
    February 08, 2012 - 12:57

    I can't believe the comments on this site. How many people can honestly say that this woman is doing this for '15 minutes of fame'??? There is no stronger bond than a mother and her children, and any GOOD mother will do whatever she can to protect her children. All you haters need to give your head a shake, I bet this would be a totally different situation if we were talking about an animal sprayed with a household chemical. I'm willing to bet that nowhere on a Febreeze bottle it will state to spray directly on a child ~ category 1 on a MSDS or not. Also what kind of educated individual does this without a phone call to the parent first??? I feel sorry for everyone that has such a wierd sense of logic to side with the poor judgement / stupid mistake carried out by this boy's teacher. I only hope that you do not treat your own children in the manner that you have suggested Patti should have treated hers. Shame on you people!

  • Gerry
    February 08, 2012 - 12:52

    I am shocked at some of the comments I read; IMHO this is a case of someone of authority allegedly bullying another individual. The child had caplin for dinner; so what? Does that give the teacher the right to spray the child? A single episode like this can scar an individual for life for crissakes! If you went to Ches' for a fish & chip dinner, came back to work & your supervisor said you stank & sprayed you in front of your colleges with an air freshener, you wouldn't consider that wrong?? So what is the difference if it happens to a 10 year oId?? I know if it happened to me, I would be consulting a lawyer & police to consider if I could press for charges of assault...on the bright side, thank God he didn't get advertently sprayed in the eyes...I feel for the mother & child & thanks to the mother for bringing this situation to the forefront ...

    • Siggers
      February 08, 2012 - 14:04

      I think from all I have read about this matter that the mom made it worse by bringing this public. Her child is going to have to suffer a lot more taunting now that his mother did that. I got made fun of when I brought tuna fish sandwiches to school as a kid and I would never do that to my kid now. If she asked for fish I would tell her supper time only. Some people need to remember what being a kid is like. They are taking bullying to new levels here. This is nit bullying. They are just kids who made fun of a kid for smelling like fish. What are kids not allowed to do anything anymore?? If they say that everything out there is bullying then the meaning will mean nothing anymore to anyone. People become desensitized after awhile:( I thnk the teacher was trying to help and as a mother that would be fine with me. The mother blew this out of proportion and the child will have to suffer the outcome. It is very sad that our society has come to this indeed. The mother says the child has no idea what is going on..yeah right he is not 3. There is always outside of school where kids will pick on him more now that his mother has taken this as far as she has. He lives in a smaller community and that is hard. I just feel so bad for this child. I have a daughter of my own and I will always think of my actions and how they could affect her :)

    February 08, 2012 - 12:22

    It's interesting how this mother did not mention one word in any of her little photo-ops or inteviews about the bullies who were picking on her kid. Why did she not state anything hostile toward them (as she did the teacher)….she did not call for their suspension or expulsion, yet she calls for the teacher to be fired, but doesn’t bother condemning the actions of the 10 year old bullies. Why did she not ridicule the parents of the 10 year old bullies?? Hmmm…..I wonder why that is. Oh, I know, because she KNOWS that if she posed for a picture, then told her story and berated a bunch of 10 year olds she herself would be cast as a bully. Better to blame the teacher than blame the bullies. IGNORANCE IS BLISS.

  • tom
    February 08, 2012 - 12:17

    While I agree that what this teacher did may be wrong I also have to ask what the situation was and if she was trying to alieviate the problem? The problem is we don't know. Maybe she was being stupid and uncaring by doing this or maybe she was trying to help the kid? We don't know. I can't see any teacher with a grain of sense doing this to hurt the child. A poor decision on her part but at the time she probably thought it was a way to fix the situation and to help the kid. However this now as become a media circus with the kids name and picture splatered all over the news thanks to his mother. With other kids access to to the internet and social websites this is spreading like wildfire and will only make matters worse. By the looks of this picture here I think that it to was in poor judgement. In the end this poor kid will never live this down and there is enough blame to go around. The teacher probably should have used better judgement and not done this but does that mean she should be drawn and quarted? In my opinion no. The mother as shown poor judgement as of late by splattering this all over the news and then posing for this picture to further her story. Shame on you all. Lost in all this is a 10 year old boy surrounded by idiots who are not thinking of him only of themselves.

  • Momma
    February 08, 2012 - 12:16

    The Mother has caused more embarrassement to her child than the teacher ever did. By the look of her picture she is enjoying her few minutes of fame. Shame on you! The teacher may not have been right in her decision to spray the child but at least she was trying to help him so the other would stop teasing him. I think the mother should GROW UP and stop using her child as an excuse to seek a little bit fame.

  • John Q Reasonable
    February 08, 2012 - 12:13

    Feeling humiliated at being sprayed for "stinking" is nothing compared to the ribbing this child will get when he grows up and people / employers/ etc Google him when he applies for work / whatever. It was a bad call on the part of the teacher to spray the child but it didn't sound malicious. It was definately a bad call on the part of the parent in going to the media instead of going through the legitamite channels first. 10year olds pick on each other - that's life.

    • JOHN Q - WTF
      February 08, 2012 - 12:58

      John ... WHAT ARE YOU THINKING .... You must be off your rocker. WHy was the Child, who had a great dinner that he really enjoyed by punished????? THe teach should of removed the KIDS THAT WAS BULLYING HIM, not the child who didn't do anything wrong, but enjoy by the sounds of it one of this fav, meals.

  • cathy
    February 08, 2012 - 12:09

    NOONE has the right to spray chemicals on another person....what was the teacher thinking.Mom did the right thing in standing up for her child.

  • Republic-of-NL
    February 08, 2012 - 12:00

    Surprised by all the media? This will be the joke story of the night that ends every news cast across the country for the next week. Not to mention all crap her boy will have to deal with now this has been blown out of proportion. Every Newfie across Canada will hear " you got caplin fer lunch bye"?

  • B
    February 08, 2012 - 11:58

    Ignorant People!!!!! The Mother did the right thing and no where does it say the Mother went to the Media. It sounds like the Media came to her and if she did more power to her. She did the right thing for the sake of her child. The damage was already done by the teacher who started the problem. It is the TEACHER who needs further training in handling these types of matters. She was the one who made a spectical of the child in front of his classmates. The TEACHER was in the wrong not the Mother. I hope the child is given therapy to get through this knowing he did nothing wrong but the fault lay on the TEACHER>>>>>>

      February 08, 2012 - 12:14

      OH PLEASE. If this mother made the same media tirade BUT directed it toward the 10 year old bullies you would be on here right now calling this mom a bully. This mom chose her battle in where she would be seen as the victim - she picked on the person who tried to diffuse the situation and now this teacher is getting disciplined for TRYING TO HELP. At least I know that if I see your Mrs. Rideout in desperate need of help, I WILL NOT OFFER ASSISTANCE in fear of you suing me FOR TRYING.

    • Jeff
      February 08, 2012 - 12:16

      The child will certainly need therapy after all of this BS of him thinking he was assaulted by his teacher that was trying to help him. Give your head a shake.

    • RL
      February 08, 2012 - 12:17

      Previous articles state the mother contacted the media. She created this frenzy and is loving the attention

  • Newfoundland Equals Fish
    February 08, 2012 - 11:49

    There used to be a time not so long ago when we didn't mind the smell of fish. A fact of daily life.

    • Christopher Chafe
      February 08, 2012 - 14:19

      That was before allergies, my friend.

  • Shocked
    February 08, 2012 - 11:48

    Look at the smile on her face and the pose for the camera will ya..She is sucking this up big time.It all started with being bullied in scholl and we all know that the teachers can't do a thing with these kids.The teacher only felt bad for the kid and sprayed him with some sort of spray.The mother is doing a great job making this child stand out even more now.What a Mother and she is surprised and not one bit ashamed of what she caused.WOW

  • Just Saying
    February 08, 2012 - 11:41

    Mom sure looks upset in the photo big smile on her. Poor kid now his name and story plastered everywhere. It should of been handled out of the media. The mother is to blame now for all the attention.

  • Nessie
    February 08, 2012 - 11:27

    While the Mom should have used quiet Diplomacy, between the school personnel and her family, to deal with this unfortunate situation with her child, I think the Media is now doing more damage to this child by painting his mother in a bad light than the incident ever could have. After all this is his mother that is being maligned here and the child possibly sees her as his only defender. I am sure she loves him deeply. She certainly had the boy's interest in eating well at heart, because there is probably no better meal she could have fed him than fish.

    • Newfie in the Ft
      February 08, 2012 - 14:09

      "no better meal she could have fed him then fish". Maybe if she fed him Cod, Salmon or Tuna, But caplin. What nutritional value does caplin offer? Its not like she could fillet them, there is hardly anything to a caplin.

  • Chris
    February 08, 2012 - 11:20

    To spray any substance on a minor child is an assault.... while I do believe that this has turned into a media circus I also have to wonder if this opens the door for students to spray other students with whatever they choose to take to school. A teacher is in loco parentis and should protect the child from being bullied. The teacher (and administration) should accept responsibility for these actions, apologise, discuss the continuing problem with bullying and enforcing ZERO tolerance. And, make note, bullying occurs in every school and many teachers choose to ignore it!!!

    • Jeff
      February 08, 2012 - 12:12

      Define substance.... I hardly think Febreeze is what most people would call a substance. The health rating is 1=Slight as per MSDS. The ethyl alcohol content is 3-7% composition range. Oh and the rest of the ingredients is water and corn starch. I sure hope this dingbat mother doesn't get caught spilling a glass of wine on her son or there will be pure anarchy. The teacher was looking out for the child, right way or wrong way, and now the stupid mother is smiling politley in the telegram at the expense of her own childs childhood memories and his pride. Shut up.

    • DJ
      February 08, 2012 - 13:06

      Well Jeff .. Let me spray you all over with Febreeze and lets she how you would feel after, i'm sure it's not good to breath that in!

    • Jeff
      February 08, 2012 - 14:55

      Where does it say he suffered from inhalation of the Febreeze?? You sound like one of those Greenpeace fools that take an element of truth and twist it to make it sound like the boy is in the ICU. He was sprayed by a fragrance to cover up a smell that was the reason of him getting bullied. So, as I said before, and if the inhalation is the case of concern, this dummy mommy better have her son in a well ventilated room the next time she decides to plug in her Glade plug in, or put on some perfume.

    • Unbelievable
      February 08, 2012 - 15:05

      If I were out in public unknowingly stinking like fish I'd be grateful to the person who said you know what I've got some Febreze here, I'll give your clothes a quick spray to tone it down until you can get home and change. The mother's the one in the wrong. She should be issuing the apology and be more sensitive to the situation. The teacher tried to calm the situation and is being crucified for it. Call out the lynch mob. Use some common sense Mom. Kids are cruel. Send yours to school smelling up the place and he's going to get picked on. The teacher used what was at her disposal to calm the situation. Just for the record, you're all criticising her for not dealing with the students who were bullying. Who says she didn't? You're all making assumptions.

  • Bay girl who eats fish
    February 08, 2012 - 11:17

    Most newfoundlanders eat fish, and that includes kids, I don't agree that the boy should have been sprayed with anythiing, but I do think that the rest of the classroom should have been spoken to, and made write a paragraph of why fish is good for you, maybe then they would want to eat it too. As for the mother, she should appolige to the teacher, its very hard working with kids this age and I'm sure she did what she did to try to make everyone happy and keep the classroom in order. When you call the media with a different story then you will get the attention that you WANT !!!!!

  • Herb Morrison
    February 08, 2012 - 11:05

    Regardless of how this situation plays out, when all is said and done, Mr. Rideout is to be commended for having both the integrity and the backbone to question the action taken by the teacher, within the context of the situation. Hopefully some of the integrity and backbone demonstrated by Ms. Rideout will rub off on those persons who chose to post derogatory comments directed at either the Teacher involved, or Ms. Rideout. Within the context of this situation, have not these same people demonstrated a decided lack of either backbone or integrity by choosing to hide behind a pseudonym when oposting their remarks? You be the judge.

      February 08, 2012 - 12:08

      Now hold on a minute…..this teacher was in no way siding with the bullies in this classroom. She tried (at that moment in time, made a judgment call) to deal with these bullies by masking the scent they were making fun of. Integrity? Backbone? Look….don’t you dare try to imply this parent deserves the Order of Newfoundland because she uncovered long term abuse at the hands of teachers. She made the move first move AND mistake – she went to the press BEFORE ANY ACTION WAS TAKEN. WITHOUT ANY JUSTIFICATION, calls for the firing of this teacher. SHE DIDN’T WANT A HEARING – SHE WANTED HER FIRED IMMEDIATELY. In any logical, professional manner, this story should not have even made it to the media. In reality, this should have been dealt with at the school or school board offices in a meeting between the parent, child, teacher and school board. It DID NOT require media involvement. ALL THIS WOMAN has done is draw unnecessary attention to herself and child. It would be extremely different if this child was being bullied and the teacher witnessed it and did nothing. In the words of Bill Clinton, “At least I tried. I tried and I failed but I did more than those who ridiculed me”. Go on, kiss the rear of Mrs. Rideout if you feel she is a patriotric parent, but by the way she has handled this situation shows just how interested she was in any kind of solution – she wanted a person fired, career ruined over a judgement call. This teacher did not assault or have a physical relationship with anyone – she tried to stop bullying and now she’s being condemned for it.

  • hockeyfan
    February 08, 2012 - 11:03

    Ok, the problem here is with the students and not the teacher... The teacher was only trying to help the child out from being bullied. Sure, in hindsight it was a bad way of going about fixing the problem but that's hindsight. Also, the teacher called to apologize to the mother but the mother hung up.

    • Gary Andrews
      February 08, 2012 - 12:06

      I agree with Hockeyfan. Seems like the teacher was trying to protect the boy, not bully him. Perhaps it could have been handled a little better. Seems now that the mother has started her own personal crusade to get the poor teacher fired, with all the recent media attention. Probably will cause the child a lot of unnecessary attention and grief.

    • CBS
      February 08, 2012 - 12:28

      I think the teacher was doomed from the instant the child walked in. If the teacher did nothing, she would still be at fault for letting the bullying carry on. The teacher tried to do something, and still is suspended. Perhaps the mother should rethink the lunch menu. And all other parents should teach their children about name calling.

  • Manewfie
    February 08, 2012 - 10:54

    Geez what happened to friendly Newfoundlanders. Nice comments by some of you. I guess you had enough complaining about mainlanders and have now turned on each other!

  • Back in the day....
    February 08, 2012 - 10:53

    My mother would have sprayed me herself before leaving the house to make sure I didn't embarrass her.....and she would have used Florient.!!! Febreze is wayyyyy too expensive!! Baahaa!!!

  • AM
    February 08, 2012 - 10:47

    Could she be enjoying this anymore? Maybe the teacher shouldn't have sprayed the child - but the kids were making fun of him she had a gut reaction to do something. To get him back involved without having to be removed due to every other kid being mean. Now his mother can't stop talking to every media outlet available - she's loving her 15 minutes of Newfie fame. The poor kid will be shamed for life.

  • Nancy
    February 08, 2012 - 10:45

    "Mom surprised by media attention" as she poses for a picture for The Telegram. Right.

  • Jo-Anne
    February 08, 2012 - 10:33

    Everyone, STOP...ignore this from here on in. We are giving Ms. Rideout exactly what she wants...attention and fame (you look happy on your picture, to say the least; wonder if you son was in the picture with you, would he be "gleaming", like you)... and poor Christian more humiliation.

  • Brad
    February 08, 2012 - 10:31

    She may be surprised about the media attention but she is certainly haming it all up! Don't know how she thinks she will shield her son from the attention. classmates parents read and watch the news Im sure, and I'm sure they will pick up on it and talk about it in school. Sure it was a strange situation that shouldnt have happened, but there is no need to milk the media for what its worth. It will just backfire. I ahve a question. Why are kids allowed to bring fish to school anyways? With allerigies I was never allowed to bring fish, peanuts, bananas or kiwis to school.

  • Betty
    February 08, 2012 - 10:21

    "She says she’s shielded him from media coverage and says he’s not aware of the attention the incident has created." Lady I'm pretty sure at 10 kids can read and talk. You just made this situation a million times worse for your son IN A SMALL COMMUNITY. I don't think going to the media was the right thing to do. Parents talk and kids listen your son is going to be the talk of the town it's all your fault. I don't think it was right for a teacher to spray the child either. Freeze. Where on the bottle does that say "gets odors out of smelly children." I would be beyond upset if someone sprayed me with a house hold cleaner. It's not like the child is neglected even if he was that doesn't give the right to spray a child. The principal should of been notified and call the parents bring in a change of clothing or some perfume. No one likes the smell of fish but honestly get over it. I think the telegram should be shamed for putting this in the paper. Really. Is that the top news in Newfoundland? Maybe find something worth writing about. Instead the mother and the media have just scared this child for life. Way to go everyone! Maybe everyone needs to go back to school for some common sense and think before you speak, think before you act. Put yourself in the shoes of a child and then think what to do....

  • AskedForHug-hmmm
    February 08, 2012 - 10:20

    After the child was "freshened up" by the teacher, why on earth would they have asked for a hug from the teacher if they were upset about being Febrezed? Sounds like the child understood that the teacher was trying to help and wanted to thank them or gain comfort about being teased by bullies!! As for the silence upon coming home, perhaps the child was more upset about the bullying they've been experiencing? Way too many sides to this story and history of bullying for sure.

  • sealcove
    February 08, 2012 - 10:18

    All you people need to get a life

  • Heather
    February 08, 2012 - 10:11

    I don't understand all the negativity in these comments. My guess is that you don't have children yourselves. This teacher did wrong. She handled things the wrong way! If it was your child you would have reacted the same way! So get off your high horses! When I went to school, if the class was teasing someone the teacher would let us know it was wrong. We would get a very stern warning about it and then it would stop! All she did, was further embarrass this child and I don't blame the mom for going to the media. This needs to be addressed! Bullying is way out of control these days. Spraying him? What a sin! Its demeaning and what if he had to be allergic? all it did was further the bullying. She should have sent him out of the class for a few minutes and talked to the class about it and if it continued she could have contacted the mother. If some teacher sprayed my child with deodorant I would be fuming too! As for the media hype, its the best way to get things done these days because if you don't include the media you get no where! I am behind her 100%

    • Jon
      February 08, 2012 - 10:38

      Thing is, the mother did not have to seek all this media attention. She could have just handled it with the teacher and the school board without making it a national news story with her sons name and picture posted everywhere.

      February 08, 2012 - 10:58

      Heather....So let me get this straight….if your kid came to school reaking of gasoline and manure….and a teacher tried to freshen him up with a little deordorant…you would make a sensationalized media story out of it, pubilcally call for her firing, harass the teacher at home with phone calls. Okay…I just wanted to clear that up as you have implied YOU WOULD. Based on your comments something tells me you are the type of person who goes to the police and complains if someone looks at you the wrong way; or your Timmy’s coffee is too hot or file a class action a lawsuit against Environment Canada when the weather outside is cloudy but the forecast said it was sunny. This teacher used a househould product that has little to no effect on humans. The ONLY WAY this student would have been at risk was if this teacher told him to drink Febreze. If Febreze is that toxic then spraying it on my furniture and sitting down on it was a huge mistake! Did this teacher spray this student in front of the entire class? NO. She did away from everyone. She tried her best at the moment in time to prevent further bullying. Read the MSDS (look up what that means if you can) and see this product poses minimal danger to people.

    • BR
      February 08, 2012 - 11:04

      Looks like another story brewing for CBC. I don't agree with the mom or teacher. A sensible meeting could have solved this with both parties sharing responsibility. If this happens to your kid, do you want his pic on the internet? This stuff doesn't go away in a small community.

    • Chris
      February 08, 2012 - 11:35

      THis woman shold be ashames of herself. She is the main cause of the MEdia attention and she contnues to "Ham it up". AS a parent of three and a school council member for over ten years, I sude with the teacher on this. YEs, she probably couldhave called the parent to tell her, but somehow I suspect this paretn would have complained about that. If that boy was in my child's class and stank of fish, I would complain about it. Feeding your child salt caplain for lunch is inviting bullying and teasing. We are not back in the 1940's. There are many more nutrious and inexpensive items that would not cause a "Stink"

  • AskedForHug-hmmm
    February 08, 2012 - 10:04

    After the child was "freshened up" by the teacher, why on earth would they have asked for a hug from the teacher if they were upset about being Febrezed? Sounds like the child understood that the teacher was trying to help and wanted to thank them or gain comfort about being teased by bullies!! As for the silence upon coming home, perhaps the child was more upset about the bullying they've been experiencing? Way too many sides to this story and history of bullying for sure.

  • Margie
    February 08, 2012 - 10:03

    Ms. Rideout, Just shut up and crawl into a hole somewhere, because I am sure that's what poor Christian feels like doing, rather than go back to school, after all this ridiculous raucous you've created. Is your picture and fame really worth the well-being of your son? What a sin; poor darling.

  • I call BS
    February 08, 2012 - 10:01

    Okay Mrs. Rideout, smile for the camera....hmm...let's see, oh I know, stand in that corner and give us a big smile. That's it! Perfect! What a load of BS!!! We have all seen and read about stories of teachers physcially abusing or having physical relationships with students - funny how those parents NEVER POSE for the camera. This mother is a complete and utter embarassment. First she willingly exposes this story to the media - this matter should have never left the doors of the school. It should have been a PRIVATE MATTER between the teacher, principal and mother. If and when disciplinary action was to be carried out, then and only then should it have been reported. Congratulations Mrs. Rideout, you have publically humilitated a teacher, called for her firing, sold your story to the CBC and Telegram and got your picture in the paper. I would not be surprised if you're trying to contact the celebrity website TMZ next. Oh, I would also like to congratulate you on inadvertently admitting to harassing this teacher at home with phone calls - you should have waited until you were in a neutral setting, such as the princpal or school board office to voice your complaint. It just further proves you were going to stop at nothing and were out for blood. Oh...and for those who know how to do research, you know, the act of looking of facts, here is the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the product known as Febreze. You will notice this product has little to no effects on humans. The only danger is drinking it (I doubt the teacher did that) or spraying it directly into your eye (I highly doubt the teacher did that). It was not as if this teacher tried masking the smell of caplin by dousing this kid in gasoline. Oh...and the reason this teacher probably did not hug this child - because teachers are not supposed to lay a hand on any child. We all know if that had happened, this mother would have been the first to file assault charges as well.

    • absoluely
      February 08, 2012 - 11:04

      Absolutely right! I'm a parent and yes, I have taken issue with something that my child's teacher did and I addressed it with the school's principal and the teacher themselves - PRIVATELY! This is what Ms. Rideout should have done. Instead she has set her child up for months and possibly years of further bullying. Not to mention years of now when/if the child does a search of his own name on the internet and comes up with all of this! What in the heck was/is this mother thinking of!!

  • Jeff
    February 08, 2012 - 09:58

    I hope the telegram and this mother realizes that these are the things kids never forget. The "incident" (if you can call it that) is one thing. But now this child has to face the other children everyday. Really, the mother and media are inviting more teasing and bullying. Not intentially, but you are. This attention has escalated because of this mother and the media. I hope you all realize what you're putting this child through. This poor kid will remember and talk about this for years. Sounds like the teacher just wanted to stop the kids from teasing the child. Well done by all.....

  • AskedForHug-hmmm
    February 08, 2012 - 09:55

    After the child was "freshened up" by the teacher, why on earth would they have asked for a hug from the teacher if they were upset about being Febrezed? Sounds like the child understood that the teacher was trying to help and wanted to thank them or gain comfort about being teased by bullies!! As for the silence upon coming home, perhaps the child was more upset about the bullying they've been experiencing? Way too many sides to this story and history of bullying for sure.

  • Dawn
    February 08, 2012 - 09:52

    This mother should be ashamed. This should have been handled between her and the school. Not in the media. I belive the teacher was well intentioned. It's a good thing the teacher didn't hug the child. She could be facing criminal chages. The mother has set this child up for future embarassment.

  • Jim
    February 08, 2012 - 09:51

    Non-toxic. Febreeze is basically water ,corn starch some alcohol. Boy, smelled of Caplin. Do the math. This is friggin rediculous. Boy bullied now has bulls eye on him. Seems like a lot of bull if you ask me!. Lol. Anyone know where I can send some frebreeze coupons to that teacher.

  • Stephanie
    February 08, 2012 - 09:48

    I cannot believe I have actually read comments regarding this issue defending the teacher somewhat by stating..she may have meant well. Honest to gawd if you think the teacher don't have common sense then buddy you're in the same boat because anyone that would think that spraying a child with febreeze at school had any sort of good intentions behind it should walk hand and hand right to the waterford with the teacher. What's even more disgusting is that she got a paid vacation out of it!! The disturbing aspect of this story is the fact that this person was able to get a teaching degree in the first place if she thinks what she did was appropriate in any sort of way. I know one thing, if I were a mother and this was continually happening to my child I would take it to the media..the child is getting bullied regardless and the schoolboard is useless in this area because they just don't care enough about the issue. The media could be the only means of justice she may have so tell me all you wonderful parents with your so called ingenious parenting skills..when your at a place where you feel like you have no faith in the justice system involving your children where would you turn?? I wouldn't have my doubt's that it's the children of the parents on here mouthing off about this woman's bad parenting that are doing half the bullying!!

  • Lori
    February 08, 2012 - 09:42

    Most schools are suppose to have alerts for being one of these. Also a teacher with frebreeze...aren't schools to be a scent-free environment just like the doctors offices etc??? This young boy mayblike caplin and have wantedbit for lunch..but as a parent didn't you think about the funky smell? Lastly, why would a grade 5 student want to hug his teacher?

  • Frank
    February 08, 2012 - 09:37

    "Mom surprised by media attention" ...that she literally encouraged.

  • Tula
    February 08, 2012 - 09:34

    I just read this story and it appears that the bullying has been ongoing for this young child. I believe this was the STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMELS BACK ! Bullying can take on many forms and by the looks of the comments on here we have a major problem !

  • bob
    February 08, 2012 - 09:31

    I am disgusted by this news story and how its caught National Attention. And especially by seeing this parent on the front page of the local newspaper with a smile on her face. And I feel terriable for the teacher who now has to deal with this unfair abuse and likely has her career ruined or like many other teachers feel embarressed about the lack of support they have as a teachers. Spraying the child was likely wrong but at the end of the day he was being bullyed and the teacher was probably trying to help the situation by doing something she thought at the time was right. Why are we forgetting the really issue here which is a child being bullied by his classmates and putting the seed of blame on the teacher. Why on earth would anyone in this province want to be a teacher?????? No support, no respect. There once was a time when Parents asked there children if they were nice to there teachers and now its the other way around. Shame on the school board for again not offering support to the teacher and Shame again on the NLTA for not supporting this teacher. And again shame on the media for giving a stubborn parent an opporitunity to think shes a game changer.

  • Away
    February 08, 2012 - 09:30

    Wow. Newfoundlanders forgot what fish smelled like. If there was any doubt that the east coast fisheries were a thing of the past...

  • Shelly
    February 08, 2012 - 09:21

    This Lady should be ashamed. Her son is the one that will get the backlash from this. She thinks that what this Teacher did was wrong but she forgets how it started. with kids bullying her son. Bullying happens all the time in schools and this is nothing compared to the stories i know about. My own son was bullied in Grade one and we were told he needed Phyistractic Help, he needed Medication he needed to stop fooling around in the classroom and learn FASTER. This came from his Teachers and Principle and even someone at the School Board.Another Boy right now is being Bullied and beat up because he doesn't fit in at school. He has expressed to his Parents he wants to Kill Himself. The list goes on lady and the fact your getting attention for this just makes me MAD as Heck when what should be getting the attention is the Bullying thats going on in schools. Including whats happening to your Son. I think the Teacher was very Kind to actually take him outside his Classroom and handle this. Think yourself Lucky.

  • thismotherisapieceofwork
    February 08, 2012 - 09:17

    Angrydalty - you took the words right out of my mouth - she is obviously quite delighted with the media attention. Mommy excised bad judgement initially by sending her child to school smelling of capelin - she should have foreseen that he could/would be teased about it, especially if he has been subjected to teasing in the past (not to mention that there could be people with fish allergies there). Then the teacher may very well have exercised bad judgement by spraying the boy with a freshener. She was probably just trying to help the situation by getting rid of the bad smell - but she should have let the school administration handle it by calling the mother. BUT BY FAR THE WORSE of this situation is the mother going to the media about it - even going so far as to provide the name and it appears the boys picture to CBC. ( I doubt very much CBC would preproduce a picture and name of a child without the parent's permission.) She has ensured that her child will be teased for many months/years to come, by letting the entire country know about it - just so that she can have the attention she craves. Honey - it's long gone past the time that your 15 minutes of fame should be up!! Please, for your son's sake - let this story die and shut the heck up!

  • Dee
    February 08, 2012 - 09:16

    My god whats wrong with you people,everyone blaming the mom,do anyone understand that this child could have had allergies or even may have had breathing problems,then to be spayed by a scented product,I always tell my children that teachers are there to take the place of your parents so respect them.But how can you respect a teacher who would do that,why was,nt the child's mom called and told that the other children were teasing him about the fish odor then the mom could deal with it.If it was my child I would have went a hell of of lot further then the media.There would be a new teacher in her place today.By the way if the child is being teased everyday chances are he would still be even if this did,nt happen.....

    • Eglk
      February 08, 2012 - 09:42

      If you're going to start going on about the child having allergies, maybe you should have considered all the other children's allergies. Schools have already taken out all products containing peanuts from schools and it's only a matter o time before they do the same with fish products. This is a very dangerous allergy in itself and the mother should have thought twice before sending this food to school with her child. Not the child's fault, but I work in a small space environment and strong smells like that are not pleasant in the least.

    • Chris
      February 08, 2012 - 11:17

      I am sure that the teacher would have been aware of any allergies in her classroom or the school and the parent should have too as weekly letters are sent out to all parents advising of such allergies .The mother has put her son in the spotlight and caused him to to be the focus of negative attention I am sure that has caused him more harm that the Freebrez . There was a better way to deal with this than giving the media such hype. The boy is the loser here as well as the teacher .No win situation

  • G
    February 08, 2012 - 09:09

    If she really cared about her sons well-being she would not have put his face, age and where he lives in the local media. He is now the laughing stock of the Island. This news story has already made it to where the story is being ridiculed. All you have to do is Google Fishie Boy NL and the entire page is articles about this poor young man. Mom deserves every bit of unwarranted attention and mocking she receives but her poor son does not. Why should he suffer for an over zealous mom. Poor child who has a mother who cares more about posing by her humble fireplace with her strategically placed family photos than her poor already tormented son. Judging from the comments today mom there is not much support for you any longer. Step out of the limelight and raise your son. He will need counseling now for sure as you made sure all of Canada knows who he is and what he looks like. Way to go!

  • Jack
    February 08, 2012 - 09:04

    While Patti Rideout is enjoying her "15 minutes of fame" in embarrassing both the child and teacher, I got a feeling she will be facing her "15 minutes of shame" soon. I also hope Patti pays the price for her actions, especially from the teacher for potentially ruining his/her career, all because this teacher did the right thing. Once again, "15 minutes of shame" will be Patti's next headline.

    • mom please stop
      February 08, 2012 - 09:58

      Jack , I agree, Mom is only looking for her 15 min of fame and at her Son's expense, she should be ashamed of herself. Maybe the reason is does not want to go back to school is because of MOM,,,,,,poor kid

  • Equally Repugnant
    February 08, 2012 - 08:52

    The actions of the teacher and the actions by this parent to the media are equally repugnant. The child doesn't have much of a chance with those two around.

    • Joy Newhook
      February 08, 2012 - 09:34

      I know how much bullying hurts a child forever.I'd say to the mother of this child "good for you for speaking out on her child's behalf".Because the first thing that school district say's to you 'You don't want to put your child in the spot light so we will look after it in the school.Well that line is CRAP and this mother knew this I think her little boy is always being bullied at this school.I hope this little fella is okay.He should not feel like his mom did wrong by standing up for him isn't that what we would all do??Hurt my child as you will see what a mother can do...believe me I know what bullying does to children but our school systems don't want any of the truth to come out.So stand behind this little fella and stop tearing his mom down.

  • saltheart
    February 08, 2012 - 08:41

    so you think you are protecting your son from the media hype, well lady, do you think that the other kids involved don't have computers, i found this out on yahoo news, so all the kids are really going to tease your son about the situation, posing for the camera like you're the only one involved here, your sons nightmare is just beginning and I think you just might just find yourself to be the laughing stock of the community if not the country.I hope everything works out for your son and this blows over real soon, so he can get over it.

  • Margaret Wall
    February 08, 2012 - 08:35

    Looks like Mom made things worse for her little boy having his name put all over the news. Well mom you got your 15 minutes of fame but your little boy got to go to school for alot of years, if you think he was teased before look out what they are going to do him now.............and the teacher may lose her job I hope you are happy with your 15 minutes of fame because all you did was make things worse .

  • the flower
    February 08, 2012 - 08:30

    wow bullied just because he smelled like caplin.ya know when we were young boy's we usually looked after this stuff ourselves by beating the crap out of whoever was bullying us. but you can't do that today so why don't the authorities do something about it instead of just talking about it.everyone of those children wno was bullying this young boy should be suspended from school for a week and sent home to their parents.then maybe the next time they might think twice about the parent of the boy ,should not have gone to the media now every kid out there knows of another reason to bully another child.i wonder how many times this story has changed since it first came out.nflder's love caplin ,but make sure you take a shower before you go out ,you never know you might get bullied.

  • AngryDalty
    February 08, 2012 - 08:25

    You should rename that headline "Mom delighted by media attention"

    • Jon
      February 08, 2012 - 09:10

      You got that right. As she smiles for the camera on the cover of the telegram and posts photos of her son online for everyone to not only know his name, but what he looks like.

  • Wanda
    February 08, 2012 - 08:19

    You've made an utter fool of yourself. Your son is ten yrs. old. He darn well does know what's going on. My heavens above, don't you even realize the subsequent consequences of all this unnecessary media coverage affecting your son? You've accomplished YOUR fame and glory, but is this what your son wants? I feel sorry for him.

  • Shocked
    February 08, 2012 - 08:19

    I am shocked that a teacher would do this to a child! If this was a parent that done this to their child, the would get an immediate visit from Child Protective Services and the child would be removed from the home. Who cares what the child had for lunch. He didn't bring the caplin to school and eat it so I dont' see what the big deal is. I have a child who has food allergies and I don't tell her friends that they aren't allowed to eat certain things before they come here. This teacher should be releived of her duties permantly in my opinion. Why should she get a paid "vacation" for causing this child so much embarrassment!

    • Jack
      February 08, 2012 - 09:00

      SHOCKED, when I read your ill-informed comment, lets say I'm definitely shocked at your comment in saying that the teacher should be fired. However, when I learned more and more about this story, I now realize that this teacher at Twillingate Elementary did the right thing as he/she was being proactive in trying to solve the problem, something you don't see from many teachers these days. Therefore, this teacher should not be suspended for his/her actions, but should actually get a medal for trying to solve a problem. Mind you that this teacher may not use a toxic chemical like Febreeze again. Because this teacher's reputation is tarnished forever due to the national embarrassment he/she suffered in the hands of Patti Rideout's over-reaction and poor judgement, and whether or not he/she is reinstated, I hope this teacher will sue Patti for defamation and pay big time for it. Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame Patti because you'll experience your 15 minutes of shame when the smoke clears.

    February 08, 2012 - 08:13

    Does this mother realize that she has caused more harm to this child by going to the media? If this boy was teased before, what does she expect now?

    • kim
      February 08, 2012 - 09:50

      How?? by bringing it to the forefront..That is why there is so much bullying..not talking about it and not putting it out there..The hell with everyone bring it up and let them all have it..hide nothing..Embarrassement! Ha! no..why do everyone have to find a negative out of this with regards to the mother...Grow up

  • R. Dawe
    February 08, 2012 - 08:12

    Ms. Rideout looks like a "Real Winner" maybe she should take some fo the blame for what she's done to her son and perhaps she should get some councilling on mother would do this to her son.

  • Herb Morrison
    February 08, 2012 - 08:04

    If any teacher, who are in a position of both trust and authority need only apoligize in order to have the situation "go away," if you will, I think this sends the wrong message and sets a precedent which is at best undesirable and at worst, has the potential to create situations where students well-being could possibly compromised. What's next, the use of bear spray to control unruly students??

  • wow
    February 08, 2012 - 08:00

    wow... 15 mins of fame? i think it's more like 72 hours! suprised by the media attention? nice posed pic there mom! I feel so bad for this child.

    • Jack
      February 08, 2012 - 09:05

      I have a feeling that Patti's "15 minutes of shame" will be coming very soon.

  • JP
    February 08, 2012 - 07:59

    So, the teacher involved doesn't have a lot of common sense to spray a students clothes with any type of air freshener. She may have been well meaning, and perhaps the young boy asked her to help as he was embarassed, but I'm not sure she thought it out very well, perhaps not thinking at all. Also, the mom seems to be quite happy to pose for the camera, she doesn't seem all that upset. She done the correct thing in complaining, the matter was atrocious. However, it could have been avoided if she had had enough sense to know fried caplin would leave her son smelling really bad. Anyone who's ever been in a house with fish frying, especially really pungent caplin, would know this. I don't believe the mom thought very much either prior to sending her son to school stinking of caplin. In the end the young boy suffers most, and this media attention won't help matters!!!

  • SP
    February 08, 2012 - 07:44

    Go to the media with a stupid story, you will get attention. Way to permanently set your child up for harassment.

  • Jim
    February 08, 2012 - 07:38

    Enough already. It was not enough for this woman to embarrass her son now she wants everyone to see what she looks like. I guess she is going to milk this as long as she can. Honey enjoy your 15 minutes because all you done is bring a world of hurt to your son. You should be given the "Best Parent" award. By the way, why don't you send the teacher some febreeze coupons. The teacher made an error in judgement, I am sure you are perfect.

  • You have got to be KIDDING
    February 08, 2012 - 07:30

    Something smells fishy about this story!

  • Bill
    February 08, 2012 - 07:30

    This lady has some serious issues regarding parenting. Normalicy would dictate that this matter would be best adressed without the media circus to protect the well being of her son. Bet she's already called a lawyer.

  • Leah
    February 08, 2012 - 07:24

    What do you mean "you are surprised by all the media attention"? That's EXACTLY what you set out to accomplish, isn't it? You're son is 10 yrs. old, so is old enough to know what is going on, so more than likely he will be stigmatized about this incident for years to come. You're looking "in your glory" in your picture, but you've actually done way more harm than good, especially for your son, and have made an absolute fool of yourself, and , obviously you don't even realize it. Your son (and the rest of us "Newfies") will be the subject of "Newfie" jokes; they'll be circulating any hour now. This has gone all over Canada and into the U.S. For God's sake, why didn't you take care of this maturly and meet just with the school and teacher involved. You've ruined this teacher's reputation. Does that make you more happy? I really do not think the teacher intended any wrong. As a matter of fact, she was probably helping you son out to calm down the teasing and bullying. Shame on you for making such an enormous mountain nationally and internationally when it should have been handled privately. Boy, you think your poor son is embarressed now.....have you ever added to it ! Your over-zealous aim in getting attention may even result in Social Services stepping in. Gosh, I'm in my sixties and when we were going to school we were beaten harshly on a daily basis by the Nuns. I am certainly not saying that was right....far from it.... It's gone to the very opposite extreme the past couple of decades and the teachers are afraid of the students and parents. Anyway, to the point that this has snowballed, I think you owe the teacher somewhat of an apology now, or at least meet with her and talk sensibly.

  • Joanne
    February 08, 2012 - 07:12

    Don't you think that YOU my dear may be over-reacting. Perhaps the teacher was only trying to do him a favor by trying to alleviate the smell that YOU caused. Schools, due to allergies, are not permitted to bring fish products to YOU think that maybe the smell from your caplin could have been an irritant to some?? All of this media attention will surely create more bullying for YOUR son. The teacher did the right thing by not hugging your child.....if she did YOU may have her up on charges for inappropriate touching. Shame on YOU and time to grow up. This teacher's reputation is now tarnished thanks to YOU....I wonder is that a form of bullying????

  • jim
    February 08, 2012 - 06:59

    Drama queen brought all the media attention on herself and her child. After all the teacher was only looking after his best interest.She called him aside and made a nice smell on him. Some of the other students could have smelled the odor and bullied him because of it .Sometimes you got to think before create unnecessary drama. In this case the mother done more harm than good.

  • Jack
    February 08, 2012 - 06:46

    Patti Rideout says that the teacher should be fired, but I believe she should not have been fired or even suspended at all as he/she was doing the right thing and trying to be proactive in solving the bullying and teasing problem, something that you don't often see with many teachers as of late. In other words, even if the teacher did spray a toxic chemical like Febreeze on the student, he/she did the right thing and should not have been punished for it. If the teacher is cleared of wrong doing, perhaps Patti Rideout should issue an apology to the teacher as punishment for over-reacting. Secondly, she should pay civil damages to the teacher as his/her reputation is damaged for a long time due to her over-reaction.

  • Parent
    February 08, 2012 - 06:34

    It looks like she’s enjoying the limelight more then concerned over her embarrassed son. Shame on her.

    • juanita
      February 08, 2012 - 15:30

      I agree with the teacher being suspended,seriously it was the smell of fish,not urine or feces.We all know that some children can b just mean to make themselves feel large.Therefore the teacher should have known better,afterall its their job to have some kind of comtrol over the students in there classroom.With todays severe allergies spraying the student with febreeze was very irresponsible. Mrs.Rideout did contact the school first and the teacher hung up on her (very professional).I think u have 2 be a parent b4 u can judge her actions.we all r very protective of our children and do not want 2 see them hurt.This is newfoundland people who hasn"t smelt fish b4!