While children don’t have to worry about earning enough money to provide for themselves and pay the bills, they still have a lot of stress and worries in their lives because of school. They get tons of homework every day, and there’s no way to escape the bullies at school. Teachers also punish students for talking too much, running around, being late. Sometimes, kids get punished for something out of their control and are too afraid to tell their parents.
This little boy had a lot on his plate already due to financial difficulties at home and his mom being severely ill. On top of everything, his school mistreated him, and he was too afraid to tell his parents. After a week or two of him attending the school, his mother started noticing his anxiety and couldn’t understand what was going on. One day she finally learned that the school was the reason for her son’s strange behavior, and she was furious.
A 6-year-old boy named Hunter Cmelo resided in a small town in Oregon with his little sister, father, mother, and grandmother. He loved spending time with his sister and parents and generally was a happy, curious kid. Hunter loved learning new things and made new friends everywhere he went. Everything was going well for this little boy until he started attending elementary school. Little did he know what was waiting for him around the corner.
The first few days at Lincoln Elementary School went by smoothly. Hunter quickly made friends and felt like he belonged there. His mom was thrilled that he had such a smooth transition from home to elementary school. Like many of his classmates, Hunter was hoping to take the school bus but didn’t qualify for it as his family lived too close. However, he couldn’t just walk to school every day because the roads were too dangerous.
Many parents who were in a similar position as Hunter drove their kids to and from school, but this boy’s family had a very old car that wasn’t reliable. Sometimes, the vehicle took forever to turn on, and Hunter would be very late to his first class. His friends couldn’t give him a ride either, because they all lived on the opposite side of the town. Hunter’s parents tried talking to the school about letting him take the school bus, but the principal denied their request.
The family couldn’t afford to buy another car at the moment, and on top of that, Hunter’s mom was suffering from a condition called osteoporosis. This disease weakens the bones and makes it very difficult to move around and do everyday tasks. Hunter’s mother was in a lot of pain every hour of the day, but she made sure her son had everything he needed despite her sickness. She tried to be there for him as much as she could, but the pain she felt was unbearable.
“It causes a lot of pain,” she said, “and in the mornings, it’s especially hard for me to get going,” Despite her condition, she made sure to always wake up on time and drive her son to school. The road was too busy and long. She couldn’t let him walk and risk his life. One morning, her car was acting up again, and the boy was becoming incredibly anxious about being late to school.
His mom couldn’t understand what was going on with her son. Why was a 6-year-old suddenly so anxious about being a few minutes late to school? Luckily, she managed to drive him to school despite all the car issues, and he was only 5 minutes late, which wasn’t that much, or so she thought. The little boy knew he was still going to be punished for it. Hunter was aware of what was coming and mentally prepared himself for what was about to happen next.
The boy had no other choice but to eat his lunch alone at a cafeteria that afternoon with a giant cardboard screen next to him that shielded him off from the rest of the kids. There was a big cup next to him with a letter D written on it, which meant detention. All of that because he was a few minutes late for something that wasn’t his fault. Hunter had to obey the rules and remain quiet.
When his mother learned about his punishment, she rushed to the school and couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw how Hunter was being treated. “They are shaming him for something that’s not in his control. It is our fault that he is late,” Hunter’s father said. That’s when his mom realized why he was so anxious that morning. He knew what was coming.
His grandmother was furious about the way the school was treating her grandson. How could they humiliate him in front of everyone for something that wasn’t his fault? She logged on to Facebook and shared Hunter’s story along with the photos taken by his mother. They made a mockery of him in front of the other students!”, she said. “The principal is responsible for this.” She continued.
“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?” Hunter’s grandmother shared on her Facebook page. She was angry and devastated at the way Hunter was being treated at his school. Who knows how many times this happened before and what else they might’ve said or done to him for being just a few minutes late.
People quickly responded and started sharing his grandmother’s story. They were defending the little boy and agreeing that he didn’t deserve to have that kind of punishment for something that was out of his control. They started calling, emailing, and sending letters to Lincoln Elementary School, and eventually, the principal agreed to meet with the boy’s parents and talk about the incident. What did they have to say about it?
“We are pleased to report the meeting was productive. Ultimately, the issues were resolved to the satisfaction of both parents and the school. We all believe that an appropriate resolution has been reached,” the principal stated. We can only hope that no child will ever have to go through what Hunter did for something that was completely out of his control. Little did his parents know that this was just the beginning…
Lincoln Elementary School still gives children some alone time during lunch so that they could catch up on their homework. However, the principal agreed to stop using the detention cup and screen, so the children don’t feel so ashamed. Shortly after, a local news station covered Hunter’s story, where the journalists explained that the little boy was often late to school due to his mother’s severe health condition and their family car.
Soon, a certain someone heard Hunter’s story and decided to help the struggling family. A car mechanic located nearby listened to the news story and knew he could help Hunter’s parents with their car. He wasn’t thinking of repairing their old Dodge Durango. Instead, he set up a fundraiser and purchased a new vehicle for Hunter’s parents – a Chrysler minivan. Hunter’s parents had no idea about anything and were shocked when the mechanic revealed the surprise.
“When I handed Hunter’s dad the key to the minivan, he was speechless and extremely grateful,” the mechanic shared. The boy’s family couldn’t believe how kind and generous this man was. Hunter’s school changed its policy, thanks to all the people who supported him. He didn’t have to worry about being late again, but unfortunately, this wasn’t the only occasion when a child was treated unfairly at school. Beth Paulette, a stay-at-home-mom, was left speechless when she learned about the reason behind her son’s strange headaches.
Beth is a mother of five, and despite being a stay-at-home mom, she was swamped with caring for her children. Every morning, she made sure they all took a shower, dressed, and went to school on time. Her oldest two sons took the school bus to Virginia’s King & Queen Central High School. She thought her boys were taken good care of at their school, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
It all started when one of her sons began coming home from school and complaining of bad headaches. Beth wasn’t sure what the problem was, so she gave her son some aspirin and hoped that the headaches would go away soon. Sometimes kids pretend to be sick to avoid doing homework and going to school, and that’s what she thought her son was doing at first. This went on for weeks but only during the weekdays. During the weekends, her son was feeling fine.
Then, her other son, who was also going to the same school, started complaining of the same strange symptoms. Beth grew increasingly concerned. What was going one with her sons? Did they really hate their school so much that they pretended to be sick every day in hopes of getting a day off? She asked them about their friends at school and the subjects they were learning, and the boys were happy to tell her all about it. If they were satisfied with their school, then why would they lie about having headaches?
Every day after coming home from school, her two sons complained about having bad migraines. They occurred at the same for both of the boys and only on days when they had school. She knew this couldn’t’ be a coincidence. She tried to understand what could possibly cause them pain. Were they just making it up so they wouldn’t have to do their homework? Or was it something serious?
Beth began observing her sons’ behavior every day after they came back from school. She made sure they were drinking enough water and getting enough sleep at night. It was becoming clear that her sons weren’t faking the headaches to get out of doing homework. In fact, they enjoyed learning new things and had mostly A’s at school. As Beth was about to make an appointment with the doctor, she decided to check something first.
Something was very wrong. Initially, Beth assumed that they were just stressed with school, so she started texting them during the day and asking for updates on how they’re feeling and what’s going on around them. Her sons seemed happy and healthy on the days they didn’t go to school, so it was clear they didn’t suffer from a medical condition. Since both of them had the same symptoms simultaneously, it was very unlikely that they had health issues.
A few weeks after the strange migraines started, Beth was texting with her sons as per usual during lunch. “How is lunch?” she asked them. The two boys immediately sent her some photos of the food they were eating. Beth couldn’t believe her eyes when she looked at these photos. The pizza looked like cardboard, and the ribs had been burned so bad that they were unrecognizable.
The other items on their plates looked so awful that she couldn’t even tell what they were. It was so unappetizing that she felt sick just by looking at the photos. How could anyone be able to eat this without wanting to throw up? She couldn’t believe that the school served food like this to children and expected them to eat it. Beth was appalled and knew she had to act quickly.
She finally understood why her sons had these strange migraines after coming home from school. Her boys had low blood sugar because the food they were eating was absolutely disgusting and inedible. It’s likely that the other children at their school had the same problem and who could blame them? Her boys were lucky that this food didn’t cause them diarrhea, vomiting, and other unpleasant symptoms. But this was just the beginning…
There wasn’t a single vegetable on their plates, and the food wasn’t really nutritious either. It was high in carbohydrates and nothing else. The other children could’ve been experiencing the exact same symptoms as her sons. The boys were relieved when she told them they didn’t have to eat the food from the school’s cafeteria. Beth was furious with the lunch program at her sons’ school and decided to do something about it.
She tried convincing the other parents to change the conditions of the lunch program at the school, but no one wanted to side with her. For some reason, the other parents at the school didn’t seem to care much about what their children were eating, which was very surprising to Beth. Eating this kind of food could cause serious health issues in the long run, especially in children. How could she fix this problem on her own?
Beth decided to turn to a “higher power” to get people’s attention and hopefully change the lunch program. She forwarded the photo her sons sent her to WTVR CBS 6 and hoped that journalists and producers would be as horrified as she was when she first saw the horrible food her boys were eating. This was the only way for her to get public attention since no one else wanted to side with her. Would her idea work?
To Beth’s relief, the people at CBS 6 agreed that the food her sons were eating is horrible. The station stated that someone is going to be held responsible for the awful food they have been feeding to the kids at King & Queen High. The investigators found out that Beth’s children weren’t the only ones at their school who skipped lunch meals. “It looked so unappetizing, I could not bring myself to eat it at all,” said one student named Jackson.
In addition to headaches and migraines, children who are regularly skipping meals are likely to develop more severe health problems and difficulties with concentrating in class and basic functioning. After the journalists investigated the school’s food situation, they decided to have a chat with the school superintendent Dr. Stanley Jones. He was the one responsible for ensuring that children were consuming enough nutrients during their lunch period.
The journalists learned that Dr. Jones knew about the severe issue regarding the school’s cafeteria. After receiving a series of complaints, the head of the school cafeteria, Suzanne Gilbertson had been suspended. However, she told the news crew a different story about the situation in the cafeteria. Suzanne told the journalists that she was no longer in charge during her suspension. Moreover, she personally told the staff not to serve any food they wouldn’t want to eat themselves.
As it turns out, not only did the school have a food problem, but also a miscommunication problem among the staff. Nobody wanted to admit to their mistakes and take the blame. However, with the cameras rolling and external pressure applied, the school knew they had to eventually do something to stop all the chaos. But would this be enough for all the worried parents to trust the school again?
Dr. Jones made a promise that the school would no longer serve this kind of food to children. The Virginia’s King & Queen High School’s cafeteria is working on a new meal plan that will be rich in nutrients and look presentable. The kids won’t be skipping meals anymore just to avoid the unpleasant headaches, and migraines like Beth’s sons did. The staff promised that this would never happen again and apologized for all the problems and health issues they caused to the kids.