By Nigel Boys
Students who attend the Whitney Achievement Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee, are sure to arrive home safely after their day at school, even if they live over a quarter-mile away, because their teachers are reportedly walking them home.
6ABC reports that Tabitha Tudy Jones was coming from the Post Office on Whitney & Baskin, when she saw something that she never expected to see. She took a picture of what she saw, a teacher walking his student’s home, found out his name, Carl Schneider, and posted it on social media.
Today reports that Schneider is part of a group of five teachers at Whitney Achievement, who volunteer to walk their students home at the end of classes to make sure they arrive safely and to interact with them better.
“I didn’t think this was part of the job description,” Jones told 6ABC. “But it’s so sweet that he goes above and beyond for the children.”
“We can just get to know the kids and talk about what they did over the weekend or how their behavior was at school that day or what they learned,” Schneider told the news outlet, adding that he’s been doing this for the past three years.
“I’m also really glad that people know the teachers in this community are really invested in the community,” said the thoughtful teacher who claims that the walking program is something at the end of the day he has looked forward to since he joined the school.
Today reports that, along with Schneider, four other teachers, namely, Kevin Sullivan, Auriel Rolle-Polk, Allison Thompson and Valeria Bostick, join him in walking their student’s home, under the supervision of Principal Debra Broughton. About 50 percent of the 400 students live within a two-mile radius of the school and regularly walk home.
“When we started to launch the school we recognized that there was a need in the community for children to be able to get home safely,” Broughton told MyFox Memphis. “But it’s turned into more.”
“I’m happy the community I work in is being highlighted in a positive way,” Schneider said. “I think our students deserve the same love and quality education as students in any other district. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to get to know the students on a more informal basis and talk about their day.”
Chris Hill, the director of communication for the Achievement School District, said they supported the move by teachers to walk their student’s home because the safety of the pupils was their priority. He added that connecting with the students and parents in this way didn’t harm relationships within the community either.
“The kids love it, and they even request certain teachers, and we’ve been learning that the teachers thoroughly enjoy connecting with the students,” said Hill.
Apart from ensuring the safety of the students on their way home, Schneider, who is originally from Colorado and has been working in Memphis as part of the Teach for America program, believes the walks home allow him to interact with parents.
“I have one student who is on a student behavior plan, and I meet with his dad every day to let him know how his child behaved that day and any solutions we can work toward,” Schneider said. “The parents are invested and eager to know how their children are doing.”
The Inquisitr reports that the picture of Schneider walking home with his students has since gone viral on social media.