Boy, 6, goes viral after refusing to take off face mask for school portrait: ‘I always listen to my mom’

‘What an incredible keepsake from this crazy era we’re living through,’ one person writes

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Tuesday 28 September 2021 02:09 BST
(@nicolepeoples Facebook)

A mother has shared the conversation that took place between her six-year-old son and his school photographer that resulted in the child wearing a face mask in his class portraits.

Earlier this month, Nicole Peoples, from Nevada, shared a photo of her son Mason’s first-grade school portraits, in which the six year old can be seen sitting against a blue backdrop and wearing his blue face mask, on Facebook.

In the accompanying caption, Peoples revealed that her son had informed the photographer that, per his mother’s instructions, he was only allowed to remove his mask when he was eating or “far away from everybody,” before joking that she should have been more clear about her rules on picture day.

“Photographer: ‘Ok, take your mask off.’ Mason: ‘My mom said to keep it on all the time unless I’m eating and far away from everybody,’” Peoples wrote in the caption. “Photographer: ‘I’m sure it’s ok to take it off for your pictures.’ Mason: ‘No, my mom seriously told me to make sure to keep it on.’”

According to Peoples, the conversation then continued with the photographer asking Mason if he was “sure” that he didn’t want to remove his mask for two seconds to take the photo, to which the six year old reportedly replied: “No, thank you, I always listen to my mom!”

In the caption, Peoples said that she is “so proud” of her son for listening to her guidance and for “sticking to his word,” before joking: “But I should have been more clear about my rules on this day.”

The school portrait has since gone viral on Facebook, where it has been liked more than 23,000 times and prompted various amused responses. “I love it! What an incredible keepsake from this crazy era we’re living through,” one person commented.

Another said: “This is hilariously cute! Lol.”

Others praised Peoples for her parenting, with someone else telling her that she should be “proud” of her son for standing up for what he thought was right.

“You should be proud! It has to be hard to stand up to an adult but he had the confidence to stand up for what he thought was right. Good job mama!” they wrote.

In an update shared to Facebook following the outpouring of supportive comments, Peoples revealed that she and Mason were “overjoyed” by the response. “He has read so many of your comments with the biggest smile on his face!” Peoples continued. “He is so happy to see so many people proud of him and saying he did such a good job! (He is so proud!) All of you have made my little one’s day!”

Peoples then described her son as a “good, kind-hearted, caring, loving, smart, and helpful little boy” before thanking all those who showed him that “his honesty and integrity will make a big difference in this world”.

Mason’s mother concluded the post by sharing a link to a GoFundMe page in response to those who asked where they could send money to Mason for gifts, ice cream, or his college fund, which has since raised more than $23,000.

“Thank you again for your kind words and support showing him that following directions can make a BIG difference,” she added.

Speaking to The Washington Post about the story behind the now-viral photo, Peoples revealed that she had expected her son to show his “big, beautiful smile” but that he had instead come home with “the cutest story”.

Peoples also said that she and her husband decided to buy the picture of Mason, because it is a “great memory of what’s going on and how the kids are overcoming it”.

“It has a really special meaning because it shows how proud he was to listen and to follow my directions. Even when I wasn’t there to remind him, he remembered,” she said.

The Independent has contacted Peoples for comment.

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