Teacher Notices Girl Is Often Late for School, Parents Can't Be Reached — Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Dec 13, 2021
12:00 P.M.
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A teacher becomes worried when one of her best students starts arriving at school late every single day and she can't get in touch with her family.

Every morning, Miss Martin liked to come into school early and get her classroom ready for her second graders. Then she'd walk to the front gate and see them arrive -- many on the school bus, others with their parents.

Miss Martin would usher her brood into the classroom and the day would begin. But then she started noticing that one of her favorite students, a particularly bright little girl called Debbie McKay, always arrived late, and alone.

Miss Martin was worried when she saw that Debbie wasn't on the school bus | Source: Shutterstock.com


Miss Martin decided to ask Debbie why she was always late, but the little girl looked frightened and embarrassed, so the teacher decided to contact her parents. 

She called Debbie's mom's cell phone, then her dad's, but there was no answer. She saw the girl arrive at school on foot two more times and noticed that she devoured her school lunch, and sneaked bread rolls into her pockets. The child was obviously going hungry.

Something was going on, and Miss Martin decided it was time to take action. First, she spoke to the headmistress. "Mrs. Dalton, I think Debbie may be abused, and she is definitely neglected. She even steals food from the cafeteria. We need to help her!"


Miss Martin noticed that something wasn't right with Debbie | Source: Unsplash

Mrs. Dalton agreed and the two women decided that perhaps it was time to ask for help from the police and Child Services. In order not to alarm Debbie, the police decided to send a plainclothes policewoman to trail the little girl home after school, and what she discovered left her in tears. 


The policewoman saw Debbie walk three blocks and head for a large grey paneled van parked in a side street. Debbie opened the van door and went in. The policewoman sneaked up and peered inside.

There was a mattress in the back of the van, and pillows and bags and boxes with what looked like clothes. Lying on the makeshift bed was a pale thin man and Debbie was feeding him a roll and giving him a carton of milk to drink from.

She saw that Debbie was always alone | Source: Pexels


Debbie saw the policewoman peering into the van and screamed and the policewoman immediately tried to calm her down. "Please don't be scared, Debbie. I'm a policewoman and I'm here to help you."

Immediately Debbie became very pale. "Please," she sobbed. "Please don't take me away from my daddy! He's all I have left!"

The policewoman approached the man on the mattress and saw that he was burning up with fever. "Debbie," she said gently, "I'm going to get your daddy to a hospital, OK? Then the doctors can help him."

Debbie would sneak food from the cafetaria into her pockets | Source: Pexels


Debbie was shaking and she kept sobbing, so the police asked Miss Martin to come and speak to her. "Debbie," Miss Martin said," we all want to help you and your daddy, so won't you tell me what happened?"

Together we can change the world.

Debbie whispered, "Do you promise you won't take me away?" Miss Martin nodded and Debbie explained. "My mommy died last year, she had COVID, and then my dad lost his job. He was a chef in this restaurant and it closed down.

"So we had to move out of our house, and we lived in the van. My dad got day jobs sometimes, and we did OK, but then he got really sick, and can't even move the van..."


The police discovered that Debbie and her father were living in a van | Source: Pexels

Miss Martin put her arms around Debbie. "Hush honey, it's going to be alright, your daddy is in the hospital and the doctors are going to help him."


The doctors told Miss Martin and the police that Mr. McKay was very ill indeed. He was severely malnourished. The doctors thought that he had been giving all his food to Debbie which had left him very weak. 

It would take a long time for Mr. McKay to recover his strength, and he needed lots of good food and rest. Miss Martin was shocked! A man had starved himself to feed his daughter, and she knew so many who wasted food...

The ambulance took Debbie's father to hospital | Source: Pexels


Miss Martin started a GoFundMe page in which she told the story of how Mr. McKay had starved himself so Debbie could eat, and how Debbie had tried to take care of her sick daddy.

People were shocked and moved by McKay's story and the money flooded in. Before long, the McKays had enough funds to buy themselves a modest little house, and several restaurants contacted Mr. McKay and offered him a job!

Miss Martin's concern for little Debbie ended up saving the family and leading them into a brand new life.

Thanks to Miss Martin, Debbie and her father had a new life | Source: Pexels


What can we learn from this story?

  • When something doesn't seem right, don't turn away -- do something. Miss Martin was worried so she called the police and saved a family.
  • Together we can change the world. By coming together, the people who donated to the McKays made a difference with just a few dollars each.

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