When a first-grade boy was punished by his school because of his mother’s hardship, his grandmother was so sickened, she took to social media to complain. As the online community saw the pictures she posted, they were enraged. But, grandma got sweet revenge. It’s safe to say the school will never make this mistake again.
Laura Hoover is an Oregon grandmother who, like most grandparents, thinks the world of her grandchildren. So, when she saw her grandson being unfairly punished by his elementary school, she was not only heartbroken but angry. She took to Facebook to post images, along with the details about the incident that brought her to tears.
As can be clearly seen in Hoover’s photos, the young first grader was forced to eat by himself, surrounded by an anti-social barrier. But, it’s the reason that the punishment was dished out that left his grandmother reasonably irate. School administrators had imposed the punishment on him for the most disheartening reason, and it was something that was completely out of the youngster’s control.
“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 [of] minutes late to school,” Laura Hoover explained in her social media post. “Yesterday, he was 1 minute late and this is what his momma discovered they do to punish him!”
Hoover’s sweet grandson is seen in the images accompanying her post, sitting alone at the lunch table, where he was placed for being just one minute late to school, surrounded by the isolating barrier. The sight didn’t just touch hearts and infuriate those close to Hoover on social media. In less than 24 hours of posting her account of what happened, it garnered the attention of tens of thousands of people who engaged with the post, sharing Hoover’s frustration over the punishment and demanding something be done about it.
Making matters worse, this wasn’t the first time little Hunter was isolated from the other kids for barely being late. “They have done this to him 6 times for something that is out of this baby’s control!” the irate grandmother explained. “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.”
Laura Hoover then encouraged those who shared her disgust to “help me flood this lady principal with calls telling her how inappropriate this is,” and it worked. Following the massive online outrage and flood of complaints after photos of the child’s punishment went viral on Facebook, Lincoln Elementary School in Grants Pass, Oregon, where the incident occurred, changed its tardy policy. “The cardboard partition will no longer be used for any detention of any kind,” Hoover said in a follow-up to the incident.
In addition to getting the policy changed, Hunter, his mother, and his grandmother received an outpouring of support from the outraged online community, who expressed their anger over the school’s treatment of this child, within the numerous comments on the post. But, that’s not all.
According to a separate post by Laura Hoover, the story had an “Awesome ending!” In that post, young Hunter is seen standing in front of a van with a “thank you” sign, so it appears his mom’s car troubles are a thing of the past too. Hunter also started a new school shortly after the incident, and it appears he couldn’t have been happier, as seen in the image above.
When parents drop their children off at school, they hope that they will get a good education and have a positive experience. An entrusted adult taking things too far, to a level of bullying and humiliation, could create trust issues in an impressionable child. To make matters worse, other students may classify Hunter as different and ostracize him in a second round of disheartening abuse.
This punishment was an added insult to injury. The boy’s mother was struggling to get her car to work, doing what she had to do to get her child where he needed to go. Where is the common sense and compassion for a situation if it falls outside the parameters of the rules that are in place? Society has become stringent to a fault, where children can’t just be kids and bullying doesn’t just come from their peers, but their educators too. Luckily, the power of social media has enabled us to change that, drawing needed attention to situations that would otherwise go unnoticed.