BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A mother is outraged after her third grader came home from school with three of his teeth missing. She says his elementary school performed a dental procedure she never knew about.

A Baltimore City mom is looking for answers: Why did the school allow serious dental work — without making a single phone call to parents.

9-year-old Michael is still brought to tears by the pain. He’s now missing three teeth — pulled out by a dental program visiting his school. His mother, Shanda Flemming, tells WJZ she never was notified that the procedure was happening.

“And then two on this side. One top and one bottom,” says Flemming.

Baltimore City Schools says Flemming signed a permission slip, but Flemming thought it was for routine cleanings.

“I’m angry about this. I don’t think that it should have happened like that,” says Flemming.

She says she was blindsided when Michael came home with a swollen mouth.

“They just said they was gonna clean my teeth,” says Michael.

But there’s more — the procedure caused Michael to miss the bus, meaning he had to walk almost a full mile to get back home.

“He walked home alone after having three teeth extracted from his mouth. He could have fell out or anything,” says Flemming.

These school dental programs became more common after Prince George’s County boy died from an infected tooth in 2007. Baltimore Public Schools, declined WJZ’s request to comment still has not answered some major questions:
Why didn’t the school alert the mother? Why was Michael allowed to walk home alone? And why wasn’t he given medication after the procedure?

“I just don’t understand how a school or a company can take it in their hands to do something like this to a child,” says Flemming.

A 3rd grader now healing up and this Baltimore mom, on the mission for answers.  Again, Baltimore City Schools declined WJZ’s request for comment — citing HIPAA and privacy concerns. Flemming says her son was already scheduled to see a family dentist on Monday.

Comments (72)
  1. Ralph Evans says:

    I guess since they can get an abortion without your knowledge how is this so different?
    Most of you have turned your kids over to them by your lack of involvement in their lives and your local politics. How long has it been since you attended a school board, or a PTA meeting?
    You support the nanny state – you got it.

  2. Linn Prey says:

    At age 9 these were undoubtedly baby teeth….. they were probably all rotted out but mom didn’t notice the rot? Yeah sure.

  3. This is an absolute outrage! This is a great program in theory but any dental surgery should be done with a parent or guardian present!!! Has anyone contacted the Maryland Dental Board and complained to them? I have seen this time and time again during my career where some dental patients get treated much differently than others Some dentists just think they can do what they want to whomever they want and some people just don’t count! I worked in a practice where there were no other ethnic groups served Also if you couldn’t climb the flight of stairs to reach the office you were considered not healthy enough for the staff to see you! I believe this mother should do all she can do to right this wrong! If she needs help I will help her!!

  4. I am outraged by this story and more outraged that comments are blaming the parent! Sadly it’s not the first time I’ve heard about this happening children while at school. If it’s the Smile Program operated by Reachout Healthcare America, it’s all too common. There are similar stories across the country of the same thing happening. 99% of the time the child needed no treatment at all! I would love to see the forms sent home to the parents, even if it’s a blank one. See the website Dentist The Menace and scroll down to Reachout Healthcare on the right side, there is a lot of information on this nasty company.

  5. Geebo Harris says:

    “Flemming signed a permission slip”

    Mystery solved.

  6. She signed this:

    I request that the dentist perform a dental check-up on my child at school which includes exam, cleaning, fluoride, sealants and x-rays as needed, as well as other dental work as needed, including fillings, >>> extractions of infected baby teeth<<< , numbing the mouth, and teeth and other procedures as described more fully on the back of this page. This permission includes future dental visits. I have read the IMPORTANT NOTICE AND CONSENT ON THE BACK OF THIS PAGE and understand and agree to its terms.

  7. Damn if you do , damn if you don’t with these welfare moms playing lawsuit lotto. They surely got sued for not noticing the kid who died from a tooth infection, now they got one suing because they did.

    IMO, if you don’t pay for dental or health care you should not be able to sue the state for such care provided. This women did not read the permission slip she signed . She needs to try to rob somebody else besides the taxpayers that pay for all this FREE dental care. People who support their own children don’t get such.

  8. Paul Brewer says:

    It was FREE……not…(YOU AND I AND EVERYONE WHO PRODUCES AND WORKS PAID FOR IT !) and saved him and her alot of grief ! Where is the gratitude

  9. Sum boddy gonna be winning da ghetto lottery.

  10. So she had an appointment with the family dentist scheduled for Monday. So why did she even sign the permission form that she didn’t read to have her son’s teeth cleaned. There are little boxes on every single one of those forms where you can check you want your family dentist to do it. This is the mom’s fault not the school’s.

  11. She THOUGHT it was for routine cleanings or it WAS for routine cleanings? If it asked for permission and she ignorantly signed without reading, that is entirely on her.

  12. So what I could see from the video was that there were adult teeth coming through underneath. The teeth were going to fall out naturally anyway. It’s completely unacceptable the way this was handled, especially since the mom had already scheduled a dental appointment for her son. Communication is a two way street, but behaving like this as a school is completely horrific. If he was in pain from the procedure, why didnt they at least call her afterwards to come pick him up?

  13. Sophia Gray says:

    This has nothing to do with race or class. I hope that in the future the school will contact parents before performing procedures such as extractions.