Photo of teacher holding student's toddler in class - so she can complete High School - goes viral

The young woman says the teacher and his colleagues were like 'Guardian Angels'

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Thursday 05 November 2015 18:10
Comments
Tommy Guy and Javiour Lopez
Tommy Guy and Javiour Lopez

For Tommy Guy, sitting with the toddler of one of his students as she worked to complete her diploma was nothing out of the ordinary; his entire approach to education was reaching out to people whom - for whatever reason - may need a little extra help or support.

But to his student, Kimmy Lopez, an 18-year-old woman who had previously failed to graduate high school and was taking part in a reengagement program, his actions were nothing short of life-changing. Allowing the young woman to bring her 10-month-old son to school and negate the need to child care, meant she could complete her classes and obtain her diploma.

This week, Mr Guy has been receiving a lot of online attention after Ms Lopez posted the photograph on Facebook, accompanied with an impassioned thank-you message to her teacher.

 

Teachers are the real MVP. To the left a photo, that has gone viral, of a professor holding a students child because he began to cry in class. To the right is my old teacher Mr. Guy of the Re-engagement Program in Springfield MA holding my 10month old son while I was in class. I had no daycare for my son. I thought it would stop me from finishing school but once I told the administrator's my issue they told me to bring him to school with me. They set up a play pen in their office, brought toys and snacks for my baby, he even took my son to tun errands with him, all so that I could come to school every day, study peacefully and focus on my books so that I graduate with my class. Some teachers go all out for their students, they will do just about anything to help you succeed! #hugateacher #loveateacher #therealmvp #MVP "Teachers are your second parents".

A photo posted by Kimmy Lovee  (@klovee413) on

“Teachers are the real MVP….To the right is my old teacher Mr. Guy of the Re-engagement Program in Springfield MA holding my 10-month old son while I was in class. I had no daycare for my son,” she wrote.

“I thought it would stop me from finishing school but once I told the administrator's my issue they told me to bring him to school with me.”

She added: “They set up a play pen in their office, brought toys and snacks for my baby, he even took my son to tun errands with him, all so that I could come to school every day, study peacefully and focus on my books so that I graduate with my class.”

The photograph that went viral actually captured a scene that took place in the summer of 2013, at a programme run by the Central High School, in Springfield, Massachusetts, where students who have failed to complete their studies, are encouraged to come back.

Mr Guy told The Independent that he thought his actions were unremarkable and that “lots of teachers do the same thing”.

“Kim was focussed, her child was well-behaved. She came on a bus every day for 40 minutes to come to the programme,” he said.

“She is a great example to others that things needn’t stop you.”

Kimmy Lopez is now based in Atlanta

The school’s principal, Tad Tokarz, said he was similarly not surprised by Mr Guy’s actions as he and the others involved in the programme were committed to trying to help.

“We do that all the time,” he said.

Two-and-a-half years later, Ms Lopez was more emphatic. Living in Atlanta, Georgia, where her son, Javiour, is now aged three, she said the intervention of Mr Guy and the other staff on the programme was of huge importance.

“I would say they were like my Guardian Angels,” she said. “I had gone through a tough time and they were able to help me.”

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