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[Weekly Inspiration] Teacher Goes the Extra Mile to Bring Disabled Student on Field Trip

[Weekly Inspiration] Teacher Goes the Extra Mile to Bring Disabled Student on Field Trip

Every school in America is filled with students facing unique challenges. For Ryan King, a fourth grader in Louisville, that challenge is spina bifida, a rare spinal condition that keeps her bound to a wheelchair for mobility. And like any other 10-year-old, she hates to miss out on an adventure. When her school arranged a hiking field trip at a state park to look at fossil beds, she was very upset. But teacher Jim Freeman wasn’t about to let her be left out and made her an extraordinary offer.

Ryan’s mother had acquired a special backpack, which she hoped to use to carry Ryan along on the trip. Freeman overheard the conversation, and despite not even being one of Ryan’s teachers or even knowing her all that well, offered to carry her on his back for the entirety of the trip.

"I overheard their conversation and said, 'We can do that. We can make that happen. Done,'" Freeman said. "That was just one obstacle we got over quickly. ... When it was time to strap her in, she was ready to go. She was pumped and had a big smile on her face."

Since Mr. Freeman’s selfless act, the story has gone viral. Ryan’s mother hopes that the story will help to raise awareness and make the world a more loving place.

"The world needs hope. The world needs love," she said. "Sometimes people feel awkward about stepping forward and saying 'Hey, let me help you,' especially when it comes to people with disabilities because a lot of people don't know how to handle them. I think that seeing his act of kindness, people are relating to it and saying 'Hey, maybe it's not so awkward.'"

I couldn’t think of a more apt metaphor for education than a teacher literally carrying a child on their back to make sure they get the best experience possible. Check out the full story here.