6-year-old Hunter goes to Lincoln Elementary School in Oregon, which has a strict tardy rule.
“[The school has] a policy where every three tardies, you get a detention,” Hunter’s mother, Nicole Garloff, 25, told ABC News. “Every tardy after that, you get a detention.”
However, the family’s vehicle, a Dodge Durango, was not in the best condition, and repairs would have cost more than the car was worth. Because of his family’s struggles, Hunter was late to school multiple times.
Garloff was upset when she saw her son’s punishment.
Garloff explained to ABC News that she knows about the late policy, so she knew that Hunter was going to have detention one day. Hunter was crying when he went to school that morning, so she decided to visit him at lunch. She was shocked when she saw what the school’s detention was like.
“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 explained.
She said the school policy was to have students make up work they missed because they were late. Because Hunter was only late by a few minutes, he didn’t have work to make up, so they gave him books to read.
“I was really upset. I went and got my iPad and took a picture of him,” said Garloff explained to ABC News. “He wasn’t tardy so many times that he deserved that.”
Her photo went viral and landed her family a new car.
Garlof posted the photo on Facebook, which went viral, and got the attention of media personality Bill Meyer. Meyer contacted a local mechanic to see if he could get the family’s car fixed so Hunter wouldn’t be late anymore.
But the repairs for the car were so expensive, a local car dealership decided to donate a used car to the family.
Garloff told ABC News that Hunter has not been late to school since the family received the donated vehicle.
“We’re so thankful to all the people in our community that have just been so supportive,” she said.