Deputy Chris Shelton of Bowling Green, Kentucky, is a school resource officer at Lighthouse Academy and Jackson Academy.
Shelton loves his job and the kids he works with, but recently he had an epiphany that resulted in an act of kindness.
But when he made the reference, the kids drew a blank.
“Some of the kids were like, well, I — I’ve never had Chick-fil-A, I don’t know, I don’t know anything about that,” Shelton told WBKO-TV.
“We take for granted that, you know… just going through the drive-thru or, you know, bringing food home,” he told WNKY-TV. “It’s nothing. We don’t think about that. A lot of kids don’t have that opportunity. They don’t have that luxury. We wanted to be able to give back.”
The revelation stuck with him, and that night, what should his wife have gotten for dinner but Chick-fil-A. They decided there was only one thing to do.
The director of the alternative placement schools, Eric Wilson, gave Shelton’s plan a green light.
“Deputy Shelton is just that kind of person,” Wilson said. “And he came to me a couple days ago and said, ‘Hey, um, do you mind if I bring Chick-fil-A for the students?’ and I said, ‘Absolutely, that’d be great.’
“He just said, ‘You know what,’ he said, ‘I was talking to some of the students and they never had that experience for it and I’d like to give that to them.’ And I said, ‘Oh, by all means, go right ahead.’ And he is the epitome of a school resource officer.”
When our SRO learned that many of our students had never eaten @ChickfilaBGKY he took it upon himself to change that…by buying the ENTIRE school a sandwich! Making memories, providing experiences, loving students, changing lives. #ourSROisthebest. pic.twitter.com/mKaczGkjEF
— Jackson Academy (@JA_WCPS) March 16, 2021
So, $220 and a bunch of chicken sandwiches later, Shelton made sure every single student at both schools had experienced the magic that is Chick-fil-A — and he got to witness a bit of magic in return.
“I seen smiles yesterday on kids that I’ve never seen smile in this building before,” he said. “It was a really good reaction, worth — worth every penny just, just to show them, hey, you know, just because I wear a badge and a gun and [I’m] a law enforcement officer … we’re not bad. You know, we’re just, we’re here to help.”
“A lot of times, they get the negative connotation of being a police officer, being bad, the kids are scared of them, they don’t want to talk to the police, but, in his case, he comes in, builds a relationship with our kids,” Wilson continued. “And they appreciate that and they feel comfortable going to him and asking anything. And he tells them, ‘Ask me anything, I will help you out.'”
Jackson Academy Coordinator Leslie Miller said the gesture was a hit with the kids.
“Our students were so appreciative that someone had gone out of their way to do something for them. They are in an alternative school,” she told WBKO. “And so they’re removed from a lot of their, their friends and, and things going on back in their school. And so they felt so privileged to be in an alternative setting, yet I’m getting a reward. And … that’s what we strive for, we want them to know you are worthy of that.”
Student Keikelani Harden said it was nice to know they meant that much to Shelton.
“Well, it means that, like, someone cares about us and someone’s thinking about us and keeping us in their minds,” Harden said. “So, it’s nice to know that someone’s, I don’t know, caring about us.”
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