Well, when that happened to one little boy, things didn’t go exactly as planned. What was meant as a punishment for him became something much, much bigger instead.
In fact, you might even say that it was the school which was punished the most for this detention. We’re pretty certain that you simply won’t believe this story of how a single episode of detention transformed a community in Grants Pass, Oregon.
Hunter Garloff was your run of the mill six-year-old. He’d always been excited to go to school in Lincoln Elementary in Grants Pass, Oregon. Then one morning he turned up late for school, through no fault of his own, and things would never be the same for Hunter again.
Third Time Unlucky
Hunter’s mom knew that Hunter was going to get detention. It was mandatory that any child arriving late at the school was given a detention. But she also knew that it would upset her good natured boy and decided to check in with him during his lunch break. What she found was shocking.
Detentions are normally served in a quiet room. But poor Hunter wasn’t in a quiet room – he’d been placed in the cafeteria in front of all the other children and then been screened off from them. It was an act designed to shame Hunter as much as possible. His mom was livid.
It Got Worse…
To add insult to injury. Nearby there was an upturned cup with a “D” written on the face. Now, the school argue that this was for “detention” but anyone who’s ever been near a school, knows that that shape combined with that letter usually mean “dunce.” Hunter’s mom just couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
The School’s Excuse
The school insisted that this kind of detention was perfectly normal and designed to allow the child to eat their lunch and catch up on the school work they had missed by being late. Hunter had only been a couple of minutes late – so he was reading a book. His mom, however, was far from convinced.
A Mom’s Anger
His mom told reporters that she was really distressed. Not only did she feel that Hunter didn’t deserve to be shamed like that but he’d been late that morning because she was ill and hadn’t managed to get the kids into school on time. He hadn’t been deliberately tardy and you’ll see why in a minute.
The Family Car Sucked
The family’s main car was a Dodge Durango which really wasn’t in good condition. The second car wasn’t even roadworthy. That morning not only had Hunter’s mom been ill but she couldn’t get the car to start and it had made Hunter late. She felt so bad she shared her story on Facebook and then things really got out of control.
On The Radio
Bill Meyer, a local radio show host, heard about Hunter’s plight and was appalled that a little boy had been punished for something that wasn’t his fault. So he shared the story with his friends and tried to do something for Hunter and his family. The results were incredible.
Kelly’s To The Rescue
Bill’s friend Lisa McClease-Kelly, who runs Kelly’s automotive, offered to fix Hunter’s mom’s car for free. She said she’d cover $500 worth of repairs for the family. But unfortunately, when she looked at the car – it became clear it would cost much more than $500 to fix. Then another amazing thing happened.
A New Van!
Kelly called her friend David Stepp at Rapid Repo and Collections. He volunteered to donate a van, a Chrysler Town and Country, to the family because he’d been so moved by Hunter’s plight and the subsequent story. Kelly’s then fixed the new van up into perfect condition.
The Community Comes Forward
The rest of the community wasn’t going to leave it there though and they came forward to provide $100 worth of gas for the new van, to pay for oil changes and they also donated a bunch of restaurant vouchers so that the family could take Hunter out for dinner to make him forget that awful lunchtime.
The School Changes Its Tune
The happiest part of the story is that the school changed its tune once the story became national news. They have promised never to hold detention in that way again and to address their policy so that detention is a supportive and useful educational tool. Hunter’s tale had changed the whole community for the better.
This amazing and heart warming tale just goes to show that a single action can change the world in some way.
Hunter’s detention was awful. The fact that his mother was willing to talk about the way she felt enabled her to get the support of her community.
The community not only paid for a new car and to make that car shipshape for the family but they also treated Hunter to a nice meal experience.
Then the publicity from the community’s kindness – made the school transform the way they treat children. It’s a story of hope and the power of good people.