The Cape Coral Police Department held its April Do The Right Thing ceremony Wednesday at City Hall. Nine students were recognized.
- Nathan Wagoner, 6th grade, Trafal-gar Middle, son of David & Patty Wagoner
Nathan rides the bus to school every day and had been encountering an 8th grade bully since the early part of the school year who is about 5-feet 11-inches tall and 140 pounds and seems to target the smaller 6th grade students. The bullying ranged from taunting, foul language and name calling to throwing objects at Nathan and his young friends. Nathan's parents advised him to stay away from this boy and stick with the other 6th graders on the bus, and if it continued, they would notify the school. Since this 8th grader couldn't get a reaction out of Nathan, he has moved on to other kids. Nathan has encouraged his classmates to ignore the boy when they were being taunted or picked on, but one particular week, the 8th grader was being relentless to a smaller 6th grader with whom Nathan is friends. The bully was calling him vulgar names and threatening him. Nathan finally stood up for his friend telling the bully to leave his friend alone. This continued the following morning on the bus, and Nathan again asked him to leave both he and his friend alone. The bus riders all empty into the school cafeteria until the first bell rings. During this time, the 8th grader sought out Nathan in the sea of students and continued taunting him. Nathan tried to ignore him when the 8th grader punched him in the lower jaw with all his might. The bully later confessed to the School Resource Officer that he had planned to punch Nathan, and he also had one of his buddies block the view of the closest teacher monitoring the students. Often times, people refuse to stand up for others out of fear or just lack of concern. Nathan, though, literally "took it on the chin" for a classmate.
- Remy Snyder, 6th grade, Challenger Middle, daughter of Sean & Tara Snyder
- Karlee Beneventano, 6th grade, Challenger Middle, daughter of Charles & Miranda Cameron
- Abbey Flecha, 6th grade, Diplomat Middle, daughter of Shanna and Eliseo Flecha Jr.
- Hannah Galbreath, 6th grade, Trafalgar Middle, daughter of Michael & Amy Galbreath
- Emily Licata, 6th grade, Trafalgar Middle, daughter of James & Laura Licata
Remy, Karlee, Abbey, Hannah and Emily attended elementary school with another girl named Lynn Schrowe. The six girls became very close and have been "best friends" since third grade, each wearing a common friendship necklace. This year they all started middle school and have been separated. While Lynn attends Gulf Middle School, the rest of the girls are divided between Challenger, Trafalgar and Diplomat. The physical separation of schools, though, doesn't affect the close bond they've acquired.
Lynn has begun treatment for an inoperable brain tumor. She gets radiation and chemotherapy in Orlando and stays during the week at the Ronald McDonald House. She comes home every weekend. Each Friday the girls visit her and bring Lynn special foods to take back with her to Orlando. They encourage her and try to lift her spirits. In an effort to do more to help their friend, the girls organized a Walkathon at Ida Baker High School on April 6. Over Spring Break, the girls created signs, posters and fliers to publicize the fund-raising event, then distributed them in the schools and community. They also worked the actual walkathon where the 750-1,000 participants in attendance paid a $10 entry fee and local businesses sold products such as T-shirts, bracelets and food. They earned $15,000 which they donated to help pay for Lynn's treatments.
Lynn, too, has shown the same compassionate character as her friends. Before Lynn started her chemo treatments, knowing that she would probably lose her hair, she had her long hair cut and donated it to Locks of Love to benefit another child.