For the past few weeks, a story has been making the national rounds about Florida State University’s Wide-Receiver, Travis Rudolph, who visited a local middle school and in an act of kindness, sat with a student named Bo, who was all alone at the lunch table. There weren’t just a few empty seats around him, but Bo was at an entirely empty table, sitting solo, in an otherwise crowded middle school lunchroom.
Having a form of autism, none of the other students wanted to be near the 6th grade boy, who appeared later in the many interviews to be quite charming and pleasant. Knowing he ate alone most days, Bo’s mother constantly worried about him, so when a teacher’s aide spotted the FSU football star eating with Bo, she snapped a photo and sent it to his mother to let her know for once, her son was having a great time at lunch.
As an FSU alumna, I was proud of Travis Rudolph’s compassion, but as a former teacher, in Tallahassee, no less, I wondered why this situation had been allowed to go on since the beginning of the school year, as was reported.
Middle school students are basically good kids who don’t always think clearly. Most of them are well meaning, but afraid to act. All it would have taken was for an influential teacher to gather a small group of the most confident students and say, “Hey, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but . . . click HERE to read the rest of the story.