A photograph of a student and assistant principal laying on the school sidewalk is currently going viral for the most beautiful reason.
Eight-year-old LJ is a kid from Marion, Ohio who attends Garfield Elementary. This boy’s personality could easily be described as sunny – he’s always happy and far from being shy. The playful third-grader lives with Down syndrome and autism.
“If he’s not smiling or laughing…which is most of the time, but there’s something really wrong,” Steph Compton, LJ’s mom, told WCMH.
One day, there was an incident in school that left the usually upbeat LJ visibly upset. It was when the school bus was late for picking students up to take them home. After a long day in the classroom, no child would ever want this to happen. But apparently, LJ had become so impatient that he decided to lay on the ground to wait.
The frustrated kid didn’t care if he was lying under the heat of the sun. However, the new assistant principal of the school, Mr. Smith, wouldn’t let the kid wait on his own, so he lay on the ground with him to help him feel better!
According to WCMH, a student aide at the school named Amber McKinniss witnessed the touching interaction between the man and child, so she decided to take a photo of the scene.
Amber sent the picture to Steph, and the mother was blown away by what she saw. This act of kindness from the assistant principal meant a lot for her and her family. She decided to share it on Facebook for the world to see.
“I absolutely LOVE this… LJ’s school has a new assistant principal this year… Mr. Smith… apparently LJ was having a “moment” and he got down on his level to help him out. This is why even though we live across town… LJ still goes to Garfield!!!” Steph wrote alongside the heartwarming photo of LJ and Mr. Smith.
As expected, Steph’s post was well-received online, with people who actually know Mr. Smith confirming that he is indeed a wonderful teacher.
“Mr. Smith has always been one of my favorite teachers. always talked to me whenever things got tough !! best teacher/human!!” one commented.
“I KNEW THAT WAS HIM love Mr.Smith always will be one of my favorite teachers of all time and football coaches,” another wrote.
For parents of children with Down syndrome and autism, it is exceedingly comforting to know that their kids are surrounded by people who genuinely care about them during the times when they aren’t around, just like how Mr. Smith cared for LJ when he noticed that the kid felt upset.
“It’s really awesome to know from a parent’s standpoint, that there are people that care that much about your child. To get down on the ground, and lay on the ground with them to make sure that they’re alright,” Steph said.
Watch the video below to hear Steph talk about LJ and how this sweet incident touched their lives. Share this heartwarming story with your family and friends!