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A Student's Simple Act of Kindness Lifts Spirits of Teacher

Mr. Lawrence with arm around his wife in black and whitePrice Lawrence, a teacher at Highlands Elementary School, was struggling through a very hard day last week that did not escape the notice of his students.  His wife’s father had passed away the previous weekend, and they had both been swept up in all the arrangements that come with such a loss.  Despite the grief that they were both feeling, Mr. Lawrence says that they decided to go in to work anyway because they “needed some normalcy.”  With their lives in such turmoil, the hope was that getting back into their regular routine would help them cope.

According to Mr. Lawrence, “My kids could tell right away that something was off.” His students began asking him if something was wrong, and why he wasn’t acting like himself.  He told the students about the family’s loss and let them know that he was worried about his wife, because she would also be having a tough day.  “The kids were really kind and offered their apologies,” says Mr. Lawrence, “some of them teared up.  I got a lot of hugs, and then we moved on with our day.”  They had their lesson, took their notes, and talked about what they were learning as they would any other day.

Seventy Five cents and Note for Mr. Lawrence's WifeAt the end of the class he stood at the door to give students high-fives on their way out like he always does.  One of the young girls in his class, who has chosen to remain anonymous, put something in his hand and said, “This is for your wife.  I’m really sorry that her daddy died.  I want her to have that because I know it was expensive when my daddy died, and I don’t really need ice cream today anyway.”  When he looked down, he saw that she had given him seventy-five cents and a small note for his wife.

Mr. Lawrence decided to post about the encounter on social media, and when he and his wife logged in to check the post later that day they were “floored.”  The post had already been shared about five thousand times, and within thirty minutes that number doubled.  Mr. Lawrence describes it as “an overwhelming moment.”  As of today, the social media post has climbed to over 280,000 shares and has had over 690,000 ‘reactions.’ 

Mr. Lawrence says, “It’s about way more than seventy-five cents. […] It’s about the caring and compassion that we can learn from kids,” adding that even when the world seems dark, acts of kindness are happening all the time.