It’s difficult to believe but there are some school districts who use archaic modes of punishment for children, including shame.
While these people are entrusted with teaching and keeping our children safe, they also allow policies that can leave our children with mental scars.
Lincoln Elementary School in Grants Pass, Oregon used to make their students sit behind a piece of cardboard when they were late for school. They would isolate the student away from the rest of the students in shame.
A little boy named Hunter Cmelo was subjected to this punishment when his family was having car trouble.
Something that was completely out of the little boy’s control.
His grandmother, Laura Hoover, was completely outraged by this. She posted photos of her grandson during his punishment in a very angry Facebook post.
“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!” Laura Hoover wrote in her post.
“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? 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.”
Hunter’s mother, Nicole Garloff, said her son was crying when he went to school that day because he knew he was going to get a detention.
But she had no idea that detention meant he would be shamed and isolated.
“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 told ABC News. “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 Facebook post ended up going viral.
Oregon Live reports that the school has since said they would change their consequences for students who are late.
“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.”
But that wasn’t the only good thing that came from the post’s viral status. AM 1140 radio personality Bill Meyer caught wind of the story.
She 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.”
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She ended up making $1,400 in repairs and other local businesses pitched in to give the car a new windshield and two new tires.
They are also giving the family free oil changes for a year.
People have also donated gas cards and gift cards to local restaurants. Hunter hasn’t been late to school since the incident.
“We’re so thankful to all the people in our community that have just been so supportive,” Garloff said.
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