A youngster from Grants Pass, Oregon, who was just six years old at the time, arrived late for class. Having had car trouble herself, Nicole knew her son Hunter would probably be receiving a punishment for missing school.
Consequently, Nicole went to his school over the lunch break to see him. She only wanted to check up on him, but ended up getting a lot more attention than she bargained for.
Nicole did not see Hunter in detention, but she did see him subjected to what was, by most accounts, a public shaming.
Let’s just say she wasn’t exactly overjoyed…
When Nicole’s car broke down on the way to drop off her son Hunter at school, she was already feeling under the weather from her illness.
Nicloe did her best to bring her son to Lincoln Elementary School down the street, as taking the bus wasn’t an option, but he was a few minutes late.
Hunter burst into the school in tears because he was sure he was going to get in trouble. Nicole was devastated by the news, but she decided to visit the school around lunch to see how he was doing and try to cheer him up.
“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.
Nicole arrived at school and noticed Hunter sitting in the corner by himself. She was taken aback to see that her son had been isolated from the other students.
The young boy, age 6, sat with a white screen separating him from the other children.
Hunter was sobbing into a cup that said “D” (for detention) that was sitting in front of him.
The mother’s heart was broken when she saw her son, Hunter, shunned and embarrassed in front of everyone.
Nicole, like any other concerned parent, was furious at her son’s school for the way it had treated him. It looked like a really harsh sentence.
The fact that Hunter was rarely late to school and hadn’t been late enough to make up any assignments that day only added fuel to Nicole’s wrath.
The mother could not believe what she was seeing, but she would not allow her son’s mistreatment to go unreported.
Nicole felt compelled to act and took a picture of Hunter in his humiliating cubicle. After that, she posted it on Facebook, where it soon went viral and caused a stir in the neighborhood.
After Hunter’s grandma posted the photos to Facebook, they quickly went viral, with over 75,000 people sharing the post:
”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 looked like Hunter had been bullied by the school’s policies.
Angry parents reportedly called the school district in droves, and the institution’s Facebook page was inundated with negative comments, as reported by Snopes.
Once word spread online, more people in Grants Pass offered assistance. A group of total strangers banded together to fix Hunter’s car, and now they’re making it their mission to make sure he’s never late to school again.
Hunter’s parents received the shock of their life when they came to pick up their car from the mechanic.
A few days later, Nicole and her family went to Kelly’s Auto Service with the assumption that they would be told their automobile was beyond repair. Mark Cmelo, Hunter’s father, had anticipated hearing more terrible news regarding the vehicle.
In reality, though, it was the exact reverse.
The locals and the car dealer had pooled resources to replace the ailing vehicle with a reliable replacement.
There was a combined effort from a number of Medford and Grants Pass, Oregon, businesses and a local radio presenter named Bill Meyer.
The keys to a Chrysler van were then given to Nicole and her family.
“You see that minivan sitting right there?” asked Lisa McClease-Kelly of Kelly’s Automotive Service.
She told Marc, “That’s yours,” before handing him the keys to a Chrysler minivan.
The unexpectedness and emotional impact on the family was profound.
“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.
The school’s detention procedures were altered in response to Hunter’s narrative, and he was also given a car to help him get to class on time.
To prevent students from being embarrassed in front of their peers, a special classroom was set apart and teachers were assigned to keep an eye on the students.
The good folks of Grants Pass have shown that there is always hope because of their generous donation to Nicole and her family.
My heart was warmed by the happy ending to this story, and I pray that the little kid has better luck in the classroom in the future. Praise be to God for him!
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