Lincoln Elementary School in Grants Pass, Oregon used to have a policy in which they forced students to sit behind a piece of cardboard when they were late for school. This would shame the student in front of all of their classmates.
Hunter Cmelo was forced to undergo this punishment when his family had car trouble. Laura Hoover, his grandmother, was so outraged by this that she posted photos of his ordeal on Facebook.
“This is my grandson, Hunter,” Laura wrote. “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!” she continued. “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? This issue has been resolved. The cardboard partition will no longer be used for any detention of any kind. Thank you for your overwhelming support and outpouring of compassion.”
Nicole Garloff, Hunter’s mother, said he was crying when he went to school that day because he knew what was going to happen.
“He was at the first table as you walk into the cafeteria, and he was just sitting there with one of those cardboard poster partitions in front of him … and two or three books next to him,” Garloff said. “I was really upset. I went and got my iPad and took a picture of him. He wasn’t tardy so many times that he deserved that.”
The school has since apologized and agreed to change this policy.
“As a result of the concerns raised, the district ended the learning catch-up location at Lincoln Elementary School,” the Grants Pass District said in a statement. “Going forward, a separate, supervised classroom has been designated for necessary catch-up work.”
After hearing this story, 1140 radio personality Bill Meyer reached out to Lisa McClease-Kelly of Kelly’s Automotive to see if she could fix the family’s car.
“This family never asked for the help. All they ever wanted was to change the school policy,” Meyer said. “We saw a way to do a little nudge, and then everyone else came in with their time and generosity.”
Kelly made $1,400 in repairs and other local businesses pitched in to give the car a new windshield and two new tires. In addition, her company will give the family free oil changes every year!
“We’re so thankful to all the people in our community that have just been so supportive,” Garloff said.
We’re so glad that the community stepped in to help this family in need! SHARE this story if it warmed your heart!