Unexpected turn of events sometimes results in very unpleasant consequences. Even if these kinds of things are not due to our fault, we are put in a position to fight against them and endure the pressure of the circumstances. This was something that Nicole Garloff and her son Hunter Cmelo had to struggle with.
The six-year old boy was a student at the Lincoln Elementary School in Grants Pass, Oregon. He had been put in a bad situation where he was punished and shamed in front of the class for things he was responsible for. His mother, as usual, drives the boy to school, but one day her car just stopped working. This resulted with Hunter being late for school. He was late just few minutes.
Hunter knew that this will result with detention and he started crying. Neither he nor his mother were guilty for this situation, but it was up to them to face up with the consequences. The boy entered his classroom, but Nicole felt uneasy. During lunchtime she decide to check on her son in order to see if he is fine.
What she saw stunned her. Her son was separated from the rest of the students as a punishment. However, the punishment didn’t end there. He sat behind a white partition, unable to see the other kids and classmates. In addition, he had a cup with the letter ‘D’ next to him, which means ‘detention’.
Put yourself in the boy’s position. Alone, punished and publicly shamed. That must be very hard for Hunter. He was sitting alone and crying all the time. His mother was very angry when she saw this, especially since Hunter is one of the students who is rarely late.
“I WAS REALLY UPSET. I WENT AND GOT MY IPAD AND TOOK A PICTURE OF HIM,” SAID GARLOFF. “HE WASN’T TARDY SO MANY TIMES THAT HE DESERVED THAT.
People found out about Hunter’s experience through his grandmother’s Facebook page. She posted pictures on the Internet with the note:
“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?”
With more than 75,000 shares, people spread this message very successfully. The school’s detention policy suddenly was in the public’s focus. The school district was flooded with angry messages and people attacked the school’s management.
However, the family was not quite aware of this and people’s reaction to their problem. They didn’t know that people were coming together in order to help the family. A big surprise was about to be given to the family.
Mark Cmello, the boy’s father, was worried that the car could not be fixable again. However, a very pleasant surprise came by the auto dealer and the community. They have bought the family a new car and they made sure the new car would serve them very well.
Local people, local businessmen and Bill Meyer, paid for the car maintenance and they even gave them $100 gas card.
Mark was amazed. He couldn’t believe that people cared so much about them. He said:
“I’m just blown away to see the community come together like this and see that there’s still good people out there.”
He also added:
“PEOPLE REALLY CARE” .
“WE WERE SO SHOCKED, IT DOESN’T SEEM REAL. I’M TRYING TO TELL HUNTER THAT THIS DOESN’T JUST HAPPEN TO YOU,” NICOLE TOLD ABC NEWS.
Mom Nicole, Hunter, and Bill Meyer at Kelly’s Automotive in Grants Pass via Facebook.
All of these happenings forced the school to change its policy and the way it functions. The school decided to established a supervised classrooms. These classrooms will shame in no way any of the students. Especially not in front of the others.