A six-year-old boy from Grants Pass, Oregon, was running late for class. Nicole knew her son Hunter would be punished for missing school because she had car trouble herself. As a result, Nicole went to his school during his lunch break to see him. She only wanted to check in on him, but she got a lot more than she bargained for. Nicole did not see Hunter in detention, but she did witness him being publicly shamed, according to most accounts.
Let’s just say she wasn’t overjoyed… Nicole was already feeling under the weather from her illness when her car broke down on the way to drop off her son Hunter at school. Nicloe did her best to get her son to Lincoln Elementary School down the street because taking the bus was out of the question, but he was a few minutes late. Hunter burst into the school in tears, convinced he was going to get in trouble.
Nicole was devastated by the news, but she decided to pay him a visit at lunchtime to see how he was doing and to try to cheer him up. “Hunter isn’t always on time, but most of the time it’s not his fault. Nicole has osteoporosis, which makes it difficult for her to function, especially in the morning,” Nicole arrived at school and noticed Hunter sitting alone in the corner. She was surprised to see her son separated from the other students. A white screen separated the young boy, age 6, from the other children.
Hunter was sobbing into the cup in front of him that said “D” (for detention). When she saw her son, Hunter, being shunned and embarrassed in front of everyone, the mother’s heart broke. Nicole, like any other concerned parent, was enraged by her son’s school’s treatment of him. It appeared to be a harsh sentence. Nicole was enraged because Hunter was rarely late to school and hadn’t been late enough to make up any assignments that day.
The mother couldn’t believe what she was witnessing, but she was not going to let her son’s mistreatment go unreported. Nicole felt compelled to act, so she photographed Hunter in his humiliating cubicle. She then shared it on Facebook, where it quickly went viral and caused quite a stir in the neighborhood. The photos quickly went viral after Hunter’s grandmother shared them on Facebook, with over 75,000 people sharing the post:
“This is Hunter, my grandson. He’s only in first grade. His mother’s car does not always start right away. He is occasionally a few minutes late for school. He was 1 minute late yesterday, and this is what his mother discovered they do to punish him! They’ve done this to him six times for reasons beyond this baby’s control! They humiliate him in front of the other students! This is the responsibility of the principal. His mother found him crying there and took him home for the day.
“Would anyone like to join me in bombarding this lady principal with calls telling her how inappropriate this is?” Hunter appeared to have been bullied as a result of the school’s policies. According to Snopes, angry parents called the school district in droves, and the institution’s Facebook page was inundated with negative comments. More people in Grants Pass offered to help after word spread online. Hunter’s car was fixed by a group of strangers, and now they’re on a mission to make sure he’s never late for school again.
When Hunter’s parents arrived to pick up their car from the mechanic, they were given the shock of their lives. Nicole and her family went to Kelly’s Auto Service a few days later, expecting to be told that their car was beyond repair. Hunter’s father, Mark Cmelo, had expected to hear more bad news about the vehicle. In reality, however, it was the inverse. The community and the car dealer had pooled their resources to replace the ailing vehicle with a dependable replacement.
A number of Medford and Grants Pass, Oregon, businesses collaborated, as did a local radio host named Bill Meyer. Nicole and her family were then given the keys to a Chrysler van. “Do you see that minivan right there?” Kelly’s Automotive Service’s Lisa McClease-Kelly asked. via Facebook, Mom Nicole, Hunter, and Bill Meyer at Kelly’s Automotive in Grants Pass. “That’s yours,” she said as she handed Marc the keys to a Chrysler minivan.
The family’s emotional and unexpected impact was profound. “I’m just blown away to see the community come together like this and see that there are still good people out there,” said Marc, the delighted father. In response to Hunter’s story, the school’s detention procedures were changed, and he was also given a car to help him get to class on time. To keep students from being embarrassed in front of their peers, a separate classroom was created, and teachers were assigned to monitor the students.
Because of their generous donation to Nicole and her family, the good people of Grants Pass have demonstrated that there is always hope. The happy ending to this story warmed my heart, and I hope the little kid has better luck in the classroom in the future. God be praised for him! If you agree that more people should be made aware of this wonderful action and the school’s wrongdoing, please share this article on Facebook.