When Shelly King found out her daughter Ryan might not be able to attend her class field trip to the Falls of Ohio State Park due to her disability, she began to plan for an alternative.
Ryan, who was diagnosed with Spina bifida as a baby, needs a wheelchair to get around, so a hiking trip didn’t seem possible.
But then a teacher at Ryan’s school stepped in and offered a solution. Jim Freeman said that he would be happy to carry Ryan on his back all day so she could explore with the rest of her classmates.
King was so grateful and posted the story on her Facebook page, where it’s been shared 1.8k times.
“She is soooo excited to do this independent from me,” King wrote. “We are soooo blessed to have an ENTIRE school that is so compassionate and empathetic and NEVER make her feel left out.”
In the photos accompanying the post, Ryan is seen being carried by Freeman in a special backpack as they explore the fossil beds, riverbanks, and other natural features of the state park.
“Love the fact my son is learning from this teacher! Mr. Freeman is a wonderful human being and a great example to all our children at Tully!” said one follower.
“I love this story so much!! What a cutie she is and what a wonderful and caring teacher!! My sister had SB and was in a wheelchair her entire life. Growing up for her in the 70’s and 80’s, things were different then, less accepting than today and many less wheelchair friendly options/accessibility than we have today. I’m so glad your daughter got to be a part of her class field trip and for this caring teacher,” wrote another follower.
King also explained that she was sharing the photos to raise awareness about the state’s wonderful teachers, who she says often inspire people in the community with their kindness.