Most parents wouldn’t agree to their child’s request to skip school. Though one mother in North Carolina was no exception to this, her son had a pretty convincing case on his hands—so she had to let him follow his heart—but she still made him attend school.h
In September 2016, 5-year-old Jayden Hooker was awoken by the sounds of helicopters and sirens outside his home in Charlotte in the middle of the night. His mother, Deanna Hooker, tried to explain to him that there were violent protests nearby. When he woke up later, he had a few questions to ask about this.
That morning, when Jayden was being taken to school, he heard on the radio that police officers were injured whilst he was asleep that night. He asked his mom if he could skip school and visit the police station.
His mom didn’t agree to his request initially but eventually changed the terms—he could visit the officers after school.
“It’s something that he asked us and when we said no he kept persisting to do it,” Hooker told CBS News. “It kind of opened our eyes and we eventually said yes because it’s a beautiful thing.”
After school, Jayden made a sign that read, “Free Hugs,” and also picked out some donuts to bring to the station.
Once he arrived at the parking lot of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, he walked into the station with the donuts and the sign hanging around his neck.
“I’m happy the police officers didn’t get really hurt. I want you to stay safe and I don’t want anybody to hurt you,” Jayden said, as reported by ABC 13.
Jayden’s actions moved the police officers and his mother to tears.
“I’m so proud of my son,” Hooker said. “I think it honestly shows you that a 5-year-old can teach us a lot about how we should treat each other during times like these.”
Hooker explained that Jayden is taught it’s not good to hit someone back if someone happens to hit him.
“Hate doesn’t do anything but spread the hate; it’s his mission to spread love and positivity,” Hooker said. “He’s a very cool kid.”
After news of Jayden at the police station with his free-hugs sign spread, Ken Nwadike Jr. from the Free Hugs Project flew over from Los Angeles to meet him.
The reason was because Jayden had watched videos of the projects and looked up to Nwadike Jr.
“He’s kind of my hero,” Jayden told WBTV.
Needless to say, Jayden was stunned to see Nwadike Jr. appear at his church, and the two embraced in a well-deserved hug.
“It was a dream come true to meet Ken,” Jayden said.
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