After a school decided to bully a young boy in a heartless fashion, his mother spoke up and the community did the rest.
No good can come from publicly shaming a six-year-old boy. That’s the lesson educators at Lincoln Elementary in Grants Pass, Oregon recently learned when the community stepped up in a student’s defense.
Nicole Garloff couldn’t believe her eyes. What she saw sent her into a rage. Indeed, it would make any mother’s stomach turn. And to think, it all started because she dropped off her 6-year-old son, Hunter Cmelo one minute late to school. Garloff was having a tough time with her osteoporosis that day plus her car had stalled, again.
Hunter was so worried he would get detention for being late that his mom came at lunch to check on him. Unfortunately, it did happen.
The first grader’s punishment was sitting behind a cardboard screen in the lunchroom, segregated from all of his classmates.
Garloff stopped by the school during lunch only to discover him crying. She took a photo before leaving, which the grandmother later posted on Facebook.
Soon the school was flooded with messages from all over the country demanding an end to the practice.
“This is my grandson, Hunter. He’s a little first grader. His momma’s car sometimes doesn’t like to start right up,” she started before describing the entire story.
“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?” she went on to say.
Her post went viral, with over 75,000 shares in a short period of time. Her call to action was also a success, as the school district was blasted with angry calls and bad reviews on its Facebook page.
When Garloff and Hunter’s father Marc Cmelo stopped by Kelly’s Automotive Service to pick up their car from the shop yet again, they were preparing for news that it couldn’t be fixed. Instead, they got the shock of their lives.
Upon greeting Hunter’s parents, Lisa McClease-Kelly pointed and said “You see that minivan sitting right there? It’s yours,” as she handed them the keys.
It turns out that after hearing Hunter’s story, the people and businesses in Garloff’s community wanted to help. And so, they teamed up with the car dealer to gift his parent’s a smooth new ride to drive him to school in.
Hunter’s father was floored by the gift. “I’m just blown away to see the community come together like this and see that there’s still good people out there,” he said.
It’s hard to believe that a school whose role is supposed to be to teach our kids to be our adults of tomorrow did something so cruel to an innocent boy.
After all, how do you punish bullies when you’re acting like one? Let’s hope they have a moment of self-reflection after this.
While there’s no undoing what has already happened, at least Hunter can see that while the world can be cold at times, there will always be people who care to warm it up.
The outrage on social media made a positive impact on School Superintendent John Higgens, who changed his policy for students who are tardy four or more times. They will make up work in a private space alongside a teacher’s aide with a positive tone.
Watch the video below for more details: