Hunter Cmelo is a six-year-old boy who studies at the Lincoln Elementary School in Grants Pass, Oregon. As a penalty for being late to class, he was humiliated in front of his peers.
His mother, Nicole Garloff, usually drives him to school. But one day, her car was broke down the road. As a result, the child was late for class. He had just been late for a few minutes.
He began sobbing and burst into tears. Because Hunter was aware that this would result in detention, they were not at fault, but they had to deal with the consequences of their actions. The boy walked into his classroom and sat down.
But his mother, Nicole, has felt something is wrong. She was not at ease until she makes sure what happens to her son. So she decided to check on her son during his lunch hours.
When she went there and what she saw is made her stunned. As a punishment, her son is sitting separated from the rest of the students. There was still more punishment to come. In front of a white partition, he could not see the other students. Additionally, he sat next to a cup with the letter “D,” which signified “detention.”
Consider the boy’s perspective. One-on-one punishment, public humiliation Hunter must be going through a lot. All the time he sat alone, he was sobbing uncontrollably. After seeing this, Hunter’s mother was enraged, especially because Hunter is a student who is rarely late to class.
“I WAS VERY ANGRY. I GOT MY IPAD AND TOOK A PICTURE OF MY SON, NICOLE SAID. HE WAS NOT TARDY ENOUGH THAT HE DESERVED THAT,” she added.
Hunter’s grandmother posted this picture on FB with a note. “This is Hunter, my grandson. He’s just in first grade. His mom’s car does not always start right away. He is occasionally very few minutes late for school. He was 1 minute late yesterday, and his mum discovered that this is what they do to punish him! They’ve done this to him six times for reasons beyond this baby’s control! They make fun of him in front of the rest of the class! That is the responsibility of the principal. His mother discovered him there, sobbing, and took him home for the day. Does anyone want to join me in bombarding this lady principal with phone calls telling her how inappropriate this is?”She urged others to share the photo, and it quickly went viral, with many criticizing the tactic as being far too harsh.
With over 75,000 shares, this message circulated widely among society. The school’s detention policy pushed into the public spotlight at the same time. People bombarded the school district with angry letters, and some even attacked the administration.
On the other hand, the family was unaware of this and the public’s response to their problem. They had no idea that so many people were coming together to help the family out of their predicament. The family was about to get a big surprise.
His dad, Mark Cmello, was worried that they would not fix the car again. The auto dealer and the community, on the other hand, had a pleasant surprise. Hunter’s family got a new car as a present, which they have carefully selected to ensure that it will serve them for many years to come. Locals, including local business people and Bill Meyer, paid for the car maintenance and even provided a $100 gas card.
Mark could not believe whats was happening to them. He never thought that people would care for them this much.
When I see the community come together like this, I am just shocked to see that there are yet good spirits in the world.
He also stated:
“PEOPLE CARE A LOT”.
“WE WERE SO SURPRISED, AND IT DOESN’T SEEM REAL. I’M TRYING TO TELL HUNTER THAT THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN TO YOU,” NICOLE SAID TO ABC NEWS.
The school’s superintendent, principal, and John Higgins, Missy Fitzsimmons, received threatening and harassing phone calls in response to the photo. Higgins explained that she believes students in the program catch up on missed work. On Thursday, however, they decided to change the punishment.
The school decided to set up supervised classrooms to keep students safe. These classrooms will not embarrass any of the students in the slightest. That’s especially true in front of the other members of the group. That (the original Facebook picture) makes me think we should look at how to structure this learning time better so that kids don’t feel isolated or stigmatized. If you see your child in a unique learning environment, you’re going to have some questions, I think.” Higgins said.