I think we can all agree that teaching is more than a profession. After all, basic education is a crucial element in growing up into a well-rounded adult. We hand our children over to teachers hoping that they will get a good education. Teachers are important elements of the system, and while we have every bit of respect for them, they certainly have their limits.
When word got around that this teacher had written a belittling comment on a little boy’s math test, people were enraged and confused. Especially the boy's father, who looked at the comment that read, “absolutely pathetic,” and decided he was going to do something about it. He would get to the bottom of why the teacher made the comment and what exactly the intention had been.
The Math Test
Our story takes place in Pennsylvania. It all began when Kamdyn, a young boy, came home from school flashing the math test that included a strange comment from his teacher.
As soon as Kamdyn’s father, Chris, laid eyes on the math test, he was immediately drawn to the comment. He was stunned that his son’s teacher would make such a hurtful comment. He knew at once what he was going to do.
The Actual Score
The most confusing part of the entire situation was the fact that Kamdyn’s score wasn’t too bad. In the time-based test the seven-year-old boy took, he managed to get 13 questions right. The idea was to answer as many as he could within the three-minute time frame. From all indications, he’d done well.
It didn’t matter how many answers Kamdyn got right, the teacher’s comment was uncalled for. The fact that there had been no such incident between Kamden and his teacher, or with no other kid, made the incident all the more baffling.
As seen on the image, it was the words “absolutely pathetic he answered 13 in 3 min! sad” on top of the exam that angered Kamdyn’s dad. It would set off any parent and potentially lead to all kinds of reactions. No parent would take it lightly, no matter how poorly their child had performed on a test.
To fully comprehend this situation, it’s important to dig a little deeper into the incident. For starters, it’s highly inappropriate for a teacher to address a student in this manner, no matter what the circumstances might have been. Teachers must live up to a certain standard and a code of conduct. For order to prevail in class, rules are necessary for both teachers and students to work in harmony. It would be absolute mayhem if teachers speak how they wished to the student, just like students can’t just mouth off to teachers.
Chris Piland plunged into a fit of rage as soon as he saw the teacher’s remark on his son’s math test. He posted the image of the exam on social media, showing the teacher's nasty comment and adding a caption indicating how rude, insensitive, and mean the teacher had been to his son all year round, and for no apparent reason.
Chris wanted nothing short of dismissal of the teacher and he was determined to see it through. He thought that the proper price for belittling his son was that the teacher would lose their job. But that was just the beginning of the story.
The School Board’s Decision
He was going to get the school’s board involved, Chris decided. He wouldn’t sit back until stern action had been taken against the teacher for the hurtful remarks which he thought were outright rude and completely unnecessary.
But Chris was unaware that the duration of the process would be longer than he’d thought. The fact that he’d already made the situation public through his social media post meant that it was not out of his hands.
The Viral Post
Just like any social media post, Chris’s post instantly went viral, with thousands of people commenting and sharing the attached image of Kamdyn’s exam and the teacher’s comment. It became a hot topic on Facebook, with teachers and parents alike debating the incident.
The hot topic on the debate was whether the teacher in question deserved heavy reprimands for her crushing words on the boy’s math test. Some thought the school should immediately cut her loose while others defended her.
As the online debate heated, Chris started a petition to ensure that the school's headmaster would get involved. It was, of course, an extreme move but like any parent, he felt strongly about what had happened and it seemed the only sensible move. No kid should have to go through such a thing and he went about drafting the petition.
At the time of writing, more than 16,000 people stood behind Chris by signing the petition. The numbers keep increasing, an indication that many people out there agree with him. They feel that Kamdyn was aggrieved and that no one ought to speak to a kid like that, especially not their teacher.
The school board is said to be investigating the matter at the moment. The teacher’s name was revealed as Alyssa Rupp Bohenek and the school board is looking into what might have happened or if the teacher might have had a sour relationship with Kamdyn.
Alyssa has been awfully quiet about what happened between her and Kamdyn. She seems to be not interested in talking to Chris about her comment on his son’s test. The matter, after all, is already with the school’s board. But still, other people talked, including the officials.
Rose Minniti, the school’s superintendent, indicated that the investigation will involve or take into consideration any social media outrage because it was simply a personal matter. The board’s final decisions will be based on the interviews they will conduct, the evidence, and the facts as they relate to the situation.
She further stated that the student’s interest was a top priority and the school will make sure that the outcome reflects a fair ruling to everyone involved. No one would be vilified unnecessarily, she confirmed.
Of course, everyone had something to say about the incident. By putting up the incident on social media, photos included, Chris had opened up a commentator frenzy. Thousands of people wanted to voice their thoughts and put some weight on the debate of whether or not Alyssa should get the sack.
Without the teacher’s side on the matter available to the public, it was always going to be a difficult situation. The debate would obviously lean on Chris’s side and many people would not help but look at her as the bad guy.
The Feverish Debate
Comments from people who’d seen Chris’ posts came streaming in, from those enraged about the whole thing to those who defended Alyssa. “This needs to go to the board of education,” said Yvonne Mitchel Portala who was incensed with Alyssa’s conduct. “This is unacceptable, she’s trying to kill this child’s self-esteem,” she lamented on Facebook.
But Yvonne was only one of the thousands of commentators who agreed that the teacher should be banished from the teaching profession altogether and never allowed anywhere near a classroom. Others agreed and even had more to say about the matter.
However, others joined in the commentary just to be mean and salty for fun, which is not uncommon on social media. LC Garner, one of the commenters, aimed at Chris and his son’s math skills instead. “Now that you addressed the teacher, when are you going to address the fact that your son is lacking in his math skills? Seems like misplaced anger,” he taunted on Facebook.
Of course, it was not Kamdyn’s math skills that were on the debate, it was the teacher’s conduct. Open meanness to a child was adding no value to the debate. LC Garner was just mean for meanness sake.
Not Too Bad
In all respects, answering 13 math questions in three minutes is no mean feat, more so for a seven-year-old in second grade. Even Rose Wilson, the school’s superintendent agreed with Chris. That kind of performance was surely not bad enough to warrant such decimating comments as the ones Kamden had to receive from his teacher, the one person who was supposed to encourage him to become better.
The comments on Kamdyn’s performance are just too salty and wildly uncalled for. Not everyone is a math genius and surely, Kamdyn’s performance was within the normal range of childhood abilities for kids his age.
Even Harsher Comments
On the other end of the spectrum, some individuals were not taking any prisoners when it came to voicing their opinions on the teacher. According to Erona White, Alyssa was unfit to serve as a teacher in any classroom. “That teacher is a piece of crap and doesn’t deserve to teach anyone or anything,” she said before adding the hashtag #TeacherWithNoHeart. As far as she was concerned, a teacher ought to be authoritative, but encouraging and motivating as well.
Anyone who puts a child down for their lack of abilities, no matter how much lacking they are, shouldn’t call themselves a teacher. Kamdyn’s abilities weren’t even that low, to begin with.
Margaret Tonkovich, one of the commenters who strongly condemned the teacher's behavior, brought up a point Chris had mildly touched on. Kamdyn’s teacher had been somewhat rude to both him and his son all year. This could only mean the teacher had some kind of personal ill-feelings towards the boy or his dad, or both of them. Why else would someone go to such great lengths to destroy a kid’s self-esteem?
According to her, there had to be more the teacher’s actions than meets the eye. There was no other logical explanation as to why she would risk her career by writing such an over-the-top nasty comment on a second grader’s math test.
Sorry Not Sorry
Other commenters felt a little sad for Kamdyn and shared more diplomatic words about the situation. Britney Gutierrez said that she agreed that the teacher should be relieved of her duties and that it was a teacher’s role to encourage the students and that Alyssa knew better than belittling Kamdyn into having awful feelings about himself and his abilities.
Teaching is not the easiest job in the world and some are better suited for it than others. In this instance, Alyssa didn’t seem like one of those people suited for such a demanding job.
Social media is free for all platforms and anyone can voice their opinion on an issue. It can get messy at times, and Chris’s post turned into a heated online argument. One commenter called Erin Walton wrote a sarcastic comment which was quickly followed up by someone trying to shut her down. She didn’t take it kindly and buried the commenter instead.
Such is the case with viral social media posts. There are always individuals looking to make the post about themselves rather than share their constructive comments and criticisms with others.
Other commenters worried about Kamdyn's learning environment and advised he should be moved to another class with another teacher. The boy may become traumatized by his teacher's words and actions. “Please report this and change our child with another teacher – your child is going to be traumatized by this teacher and may learn to hate math – I feel so sad seeing this and outraged,” Sandra Marie said to Chris.
Sandra’s advice was well in order and supported by other commenters. This would have been the most appropriate first course of action by the school once Chris brought up the incident. It made perfect sense to take Kadyn out of Alyssa’s class at once.
Toughen Up Little Boy
Dave Ritter thought Chris should help his boy with his math so that he doesn’t experience the same kind of thing. “The world is not rainbows and unicorns,” he advised Chris and implored him to spend more time teaching Kamden that the world is tough and that he was “going to his feelings hurt a whole bunch in life.”
No matter what you think of this particular comment, one can’t help but notice the obvious fact that it takes the conversation from a constructive to an accusatory angle which of course is hardly the ideal course of action.
The Word ‘Pathetic’
Lori Brady took particular issue with the use of the word ‘pathetic.’ It’s hard enough to imagine two adults calling each other pathetic, which would be incredibly harsh. But can you imagine an adult, and a teacher at that, referring to a seven-year-old as pathetic? It’s easy to see why Chris was all bent out of shape with Alyssa’s scathing comments on his little boy’s math test.
It’s completely unacceptable, in any culture, circumstance, or race for an adult to speak to a child in this manner. There absolutely had to be more than meets the eye.
Several theories came up during the discussion but until Alyssa spoke up, no one knew her side of the story. She probably took the advice of the school or even a lawyer that she should keep quiet and not risk incriminating herself.
As expected, the school’s board will be looking into the incident and hopefully come to the bottom of it. Until then, we will be holding our breaths.
The essence of this story is all about the relationship between a teacher and a student. However the story is settled, Alyssa’s handling of Kamdyn was way off the mark. It was such a horrific thing to do and she was severely judged by the public and Kamdyn’s family.
Schools are purposely built for the betterment of the child’s emotional, intellectual, and mental well-being. This must remain the focus of the education system or we might as well forget about school altogether.
Single Father Follows His Heart and Adopts Boy Who Was Abandoned Twice Before
Forrest Gump’s mother was absolutely right when she said “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.” Some children are fortunate enough to grow up in kind and loving homes. Others are born to incompetent parents, and in many situations, abandoned and thrown into the foster care system.
This is the heartwarming story of two people who changed each other's lives despite the obstacles put in front of them. Get your tissues ready!
Let’s start this story off with a little bit of background on foster care in the United States.
Children in foster care come from many different backgrounds, but they usually all have one thing in common: a child enters a foster care system after Child Protective Services (CPS) decides that it is unsafe for the child to remain at their current home under the supervision of their biological guardians. Children may be moved into foster care as a result of neglect, abuse, or abandonment by their parents or guardians. Orphaned children can also be put into foster care.
Parenting Isn't an Easy Job
Although taking in a foster child can be incredibly rewarding, it can come with many difficulties and struggles for both the foster child and the foster parent.
Being a parent is already a challenging task, but taking in a foster child can be even harder. Foster children often come from problematic homes and irresponsible parents. The foster parents have the huge responsibility of showing an often abandoned child what it means to have a loving and caring parent. The child also needs to adapt to a new home and lifestyle that he or she may be unfamiliar with.
A Great Deed
Despite these challenges, fostering a child in need is one of the most kind, selfless things you can do in life. By bringing a foster into your home, you are providing a safe environment for a child and showing them what it means to have a family that truly cares about them. Foster parents give the children individual attention, guidance, and the stability that they need and that they often lacked in their previous homes.
The end goal of foster care is to reunite the children with their biological parents, but that isn’t always possible.
A Difficult Childhood
Foster parents often end up permanently adopting the children that were under their care. This is exactly what happened in the emotional story of Peter and Tony Mutabazi.
Peter Mutabazi, who is now 37 years old, did not have a simple childhood by any means. He was born into an extremely poor family in a small village in Uganda near the border with Rwanda. “I grew up in Uganda. I grew up the poor of the poorest people on the planet," said Peter Mutabazi. "I grew up where no one told me to dream, that there was no future for me."
Leaving for Good
In addition to the severe poverty that Peter was exposed throughout his childhood, his parents were also abusive. Peter was only ten years old when he realized that he could not live in an abusive house any longer. He decided to leave home and run away.
Fortunately, a complete stranger was kind enough to take in the helpless boy and show him what it meant to have a real home. It wasn’t long before the stranger became a true parent figure for Peter. "They became my sponsor, my family,” said Peter. The kind man helped guide Peter through school.
Off to See the World
Fast forward a few years later and Peter is an adult, ready to take on the world. He decided to pack his bags and move to the United States. He eventually became a citizen and started working with the nonprofit organization World Vision United States. The organization helps kids living in vulnerable areas.
During his work for the nonprofit, Peter finally realized his true calling in life: he wanted to help out children in need by becoming a foster parent.
How Can I Not Give Back?
Peter felt that it was his fate as a human being after the generous person had taken him into his home when he was a young, helpless kid. "How can I not give back?" Peter explained.
The dedicated man only had one big concern when it came to fostering children. He wasn’t afraid of the responsibility or the expenses. What worried him the most was that he thought that being a 'single man' would make him ineligible. Thankfully, he was wrong. Within four months of applying, Peter received his license to foster. He ended up fostering twelve children!
We would like to introduce you to Tony - the other key person in our story. Just like Peter, Tony’s childhood was not easy. He was only two years old when he was abandoned by his biological parents and was put into foster care. No information has been disclosed about Tony’s biological mother and father.
After two years of moving from foster home to foster home, Tony was adopted by a couple in Oklahoma when he was four years old. Young Tony believed that he had finally found a forever home. He thought that his luck had changed and he was going to spend the rest of his childhood in a stable and safe home.
Sadly, that was not the case for poor Tony. Who he thought were his loving, adopted parents only ended up causing him even more heartbreak.
When Tony was just eleven years old, the Oklahoma couple who adopted him did something tragic. The adopted parents drove Tony to a hospital, dropped him off there, and simply left without ever returning again. The young boy found himself abandoned and on his own once again."He asked if his parents were coming to get him and they said no," Peter recalled. "[We have] no idea why."
A Tragic Day For Tony
It is almost impossible to imagine the gut-wrenching heartbreak that this poor eleven-year-old must have gone through that day. The people who he trusted the most in his life and depended on for everything had suddenly left him all alone. This type of abandonment can be extremely traumatic and detrimental for a child of Tony’s age.
When the hospital discovered that Tony’s guardians had left him there alone, they knew it was time to get Child Protective Services involved.
Child Protective Services arrived at the hospital to assess the situation. They decided that it was safe to say that Tony’s previous adopted parents were not coming back. He was in need of a foster home - immediately!
That’s when Peter came to the rescue. On January 16, 2018, Peter received a call from foster care worker Jessica Ward asking if he could take Tony for the weekend. Ward’s phone call actually came at an emotional time for Peter.
Just four days before Tony was abandoned at the hospital, Peter was forced to say goodbye to two brothers who had fostered for seven months. Family Court had decided that it was appropriate and safe for the boys to be reunited with their biological parents.
Peter was thrilled at the fact that the two boys would be back home again with their family, but he had developed such a strong bond with the children that parting ways with them was extremely difficult.
“I had been through many hours of training to become licensed as a foster parent, but none of the instruction taught me how to say goodbye to these boys who possessed such a large chunk of my heart,” recalled Peter.
Because he was still getting over the loss of his two previous fosters, Peter wasn’t sure if he was ready to take in another child. However, Ward did some convincing and Peter eventually agreed. After all, she was only asking for him to take the eleven-year-old for two days.
Peter had no idea that agreeing to take Tony home was a decision that would shape both of their lives - and Tony would be staying for much longer than just two days.
A social worker drove Tony to Peter’s home in Charlotte, North Carolina. He and Peter had an instant connection, almost as if it was meant to be. Just twenty minutes after Tony walked into Peter’s home, he was asking if he could call Peter “Dad.” Peter was shocked and refused at first.
The Moment That Changed Everything
He did not want to get too attached, knowing Tony was only staying with him temporarily. Also, he wasn’t ready to build a strong connection with a child again after so recently saying goodbye to the brothers he fostered.
A couple of days later it was time for the social worker to pick Tony up from Peter’s house. Out of curiosity, Peter decided to ask the social worker about Tony’s story. The woman told Peter all about Tony’s tragic childhood and how his previous adoptive parents had abandoned him. At that moment, everything had changed.
No More Getting Cast Aside
Peter was devastated after hearing about what Tony went through.
His parental instincts kicked in. He decided that he was not going to let anyone disappoint this young boy ever again. “I was told there were no family members to reach out to and there were no foster homes available at the time, so he would be leaving my home and going straight to a group home,” recalled Peter. “There was no way I was going to let that happen. I refused to allow him to be cast aside again.”
It was time for Tony to get settled into the Mutabazi home, and that definitely didn’t take long. After all, Tony was already willing to call Peter “dad” on the first day!
Tony and Peter developed a very close bond and they were inseparable ever since. According to Peter, Tony is the kindest, most well behaved foster child he has welcomed into his home. “He’s the nicest, smartest kid I’ve ever had,” Mutabazi told Good Morning America. Ever since Tony has entered Peter’s home, they have had an amazing time together.
One of Peter’s favorite things to do is run. This works out perfectly for the father and son because Tony loves to bike. Tony and Peter enjoy working out together.
As reported by Peter, Tony is also an avid reader. “Since I've had him, he's read 450 books,” the proud father said. “Sometimes, before he goes to bed, I have to remove the books because he'll wake up and read the books. I could go to any bookstore and read or work and he'll have a book and read for hours with no movement,” he added. “That truly has been special.”
Despite having entered the most loving home possible, Tony’s challenging childhood had a significant impact on his life. He suffered emotional trauma and abandonment issues after what he had gone through with his previous adoptive family.
This definitely isn’t an uncommon occurrence for children in the foster care system. Many kids are placed into foster care after suffering from some type of neglect by their former parents. This neglect has been proven to have a profound and long-lasting impact on the child.
Resilience and Positivity
As a result of abuse and neglect, foster children often suffer from antisocial behaviors, under-stimulation, and development issues.
Despite these issues, Tony tries his best every day to make the most out of his difficult childhood circumstances and strives to stay positive. “He has quickly made a number of amazing friends at church, school, and in the foster community,” explained Peter. “I’m amazed at how resilient and positive he is, despite all that he has had to endure.”
Making It Official
About two years after Peter first welcomed Tony home, his adoption was finally made official in a Charlotte courthouse this past November.
“On the 12th of November, I finally got to share my last name with the young man who is now officially my son. This is the blessing I am most thankful for in my life. It has been an amazing journey,” said Peter. After caring for Tony for the past couple of years, Peter was thrilled to finally call Tony his actual son.
The father and son were joined by their loving family and friends to celebrate this momentous occasion. The beautiful moment was captured by a photographer, Cole Trotter. The heartwarming pictures from that day show the father and son decked out in blazers. Tony decided to dress up especially fancy that day, looking extra sharp in an adorable maroon bow tie.
Peter had been proud and satisfied with his decision to share his last name with Tony. "I had the room, the resources, so I had no reason to let him go," Peter said.
Hey, He’s My Dad
"For what someone did for me I wanted to do something for someone else,” Peter continued.
Although the adoption was the official way of making Tony Peter’s son and giving him his last name, it did not change much for the father and son. Long before the adoption hearing in the courthouse, Peter already considered Tony a part of his family. For Tony, the feeling is mutual. “He's proud to show me at school and say, "Hey, he's my dad." That's something that I love about him,” explained Peter.
When Peter and Tony aren’t exercising or reading together, they manage their joint Instagram account which has since gone viral with over 57.5 thousand followers.
On the Mutabazi Instagram page, the father and son post regularly about their life together. They post adorable photos of Peter and Tony cooking together, attending the adoption hearing, and even a cute picture of the two playing video games together. “I have a lot to teach Anthony, but I’ve always got a lot to learn!” wrote Peter in one of the Instagram captions.
Families Don’t Have to Match
In another one of the family’s Instagram photos, Tony and Peter address the fact that they have differences, that individualize them from other typical father/son pairs. In the picture, the boys are wearing matching shirts that say “Families Don’t Have To Match” on them. This sends a powerful message that you don’t have to look or act like someone else in order to love them.
The beautiful caption reads, “We might look different or sometimes treated differently but a perfect fit. Truly blessed to call you my son!”
Love Conquers All
Mutabazi fans from all over the world share their love and admiration for the father and son team on the Instagram page’s comments. “You’re doing a wonderful thing being this young man’s dad. It will all work out, love conquers all!” wrote one of the users.
Peter and Tony’s amazing story has also inspired others to consider becoming foster parents. “As a mom to four boys, your story touched my heart deeply and brought tears to my eyes. I have considered fostering myself,” wrote another Instagram user.
This beautiful story teaches us about the magical things that can happen when you open your home to a foster child in need. Not only do you impact the child’s life in the most amazing way possible, but you can also benefit yourself from fostering or adopting a child.
Peter sees Tony as a blessing that has taught him so much about life, love, and staying positive despite the hardships he had gone through when he was just a young child.
“I have learned how to love him and see the best in him. He has taught me to dream big, to care more, to laugh more, and to not hold back.
He has taught me to never say no and to listen to my dreams, and that time and time again, the best things come from the most unexpected people and places.”
Love in a Hopeless Place
In an incredibly difficult time in society, we may often feel bombarded with sad stories and bad news. Tony and Peter’s story is surely one to help lift our spirits during this challenging time. Hearing about their experiences shows us that sometimes life can be cruel but miracles can happen and love can be born out of even the worst situations.
Hope can be found absolutely anywhere. but especially in a heartwarming and inspirational story like Peter and Tony’s.