In 2015, a 6-year-old boy from Grants Pass, Oregon was late to school. His family had experienced issues with their car, and so mom Nicole knew little Hunter would likely be getting detention.
As a result, Nicole paid a visit to his school during lunch. Her aim was simply to see how he was holding up, but she was met with a whole lot more than she bargained for.
Instead of seeing Hunter in detention, Nicole witnessed her son being put through what many would agree was a public humiliation.
Suffice to say, she was far from happy …
Nicole was suffering from poor health and to add insult to injury, the family car decided it would take that precise time to stop working when she was driving her son Hunter to school.
Taking the bus wasn’t an alternative, so Nicloe did the best she could to get her son down the street to Lincoln Elementary School, but he arrived a few minutes late.
Hunter rushed into the school crying, the poor boy knew he would face detention. Nicole felt really bad about all this, but she decided she would go to the school at lunchtime to check on him and lift his spirits if she could.
“Sometimes Hunter isn’t ready, but most often the tardiness is not his fault. Nicole suffers from osteoporosis, which makes it painful and difficult for her to function, especially in the morning,” KDRV reported.
When Nicole got to the school, she saw Hunter seated all alone. She was stunned to find her son separated off from the other children in the school.
The 6-year-old sat with a white partition in front of him, blocking him from seeing or communicating with other kids.
There was also a cup with “D” on it in front of him (for detention), whilst Hunter himself sat in tears.
The scene crushed the mother’s heart – Hunter was publicly ostracized and humiliated.
Nicole was outraged with the school’s treatment of her son, as any mother would be. The punishment seemed far too severe.
Nicole’s anger was made all the more concentrated by the fact that Hunter was rarely late to school, and hadn’t been late enough that day to make up any assignments.
The mom could barely believe her eyes, but she wasn’t about to let what happened to her son go unnoticed.
Knowing she had to do something, Nicole took a picture of Hunter as he sat in his cubicle of shame. She then uploaded it to Facebook, where it quickly sparked a fire within the local community.
Hunter’s grandmother shared the pictures on Facebook and the post generated over 75 000 shares:
”This is my grandson, Hunter. He’s a little first grader. His momma’s car sometimes doesn’t like to start right up. Sometimes he’s a couple minutes late to school. Yesterday, he was 1 minute late and this is what his momma discovered they do to punish him! They have done this to him 6 times for something that is out of this baby’s control! They make a mockery of him in front of the other students! The principal is responsible for this. His mom found him there, crying, and took him home for the day. Anyone want to help me flood this lady principal with calls telling her how inappropriate this is?”
It appeared that the school’s policy had bullied Hunter.
After the pictures went viral, others in Grants Pass wanted to help. They made it their mission to ensure Hunter was never late to school again – strangers had come together to help them with their car problems.
When Hunter’s mom and dad showed up to pick up their car from the repair shop, they got the surprise of their lives.
Nicole and her family turned up at Kelly’s Automotive Service a few days later expecting to be told that their car was beyond fixing. Hunter’s father, Mark Cmelo, fully expected to get more bad news about the car.
But it was quite the opposite.
The auto dealer had joined forces with people in the community to buy them another vehicle and make sure it would be dependable.
Several businesses in Medford, Oregon, and Grants Pass, as well as a local radio host, Bill Meyer, joined forces to chip in.
Nicole and her family was then handed the keys to a Chrysler van.
“You see that minivan sitting right there?” asked Lisa McClease-Kelly of Kelly’s Automotive Service.
“That’s yours,” she said, as she handed Marc the keys to a Chrysler minivan.
The family was both shocked and moved.
“I’m just blown away to see the community come together like this and see that there’s still good people out there,” said the happy father, Marc.
In addition to receiving a vehicle that would make sure Hunter got to school on time, Hunter’s story changed the way the school handled their detention policies.
They designated a supervised classroom so kids wouldn’t be shamed in front of all their schoolmates.
In an act of charity that will provide no end of help to Nicole and her family, the people of Grants Pass proved that where there is love, there is always hope.
The outcome of this story simply warms my heart and I hope the little guy has a much more positive experience from his teachers in the future. God bless him! ❤
If you think more people should be made aware of this great gesture and that the school did wrong, please share this article on Facebook!