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Team Aleteia



Teacher adopts 30-year-old former student with special needs who was wandering the streets

Michelle Girard

Junior high teacher Michelle Girard takes her care for a student to a whole new level.

With the school year starting in earnest, teachers are busy getting to know their new class of students. If they’re anything like Michelle Girard from Texas, they’ll be inspiring their pupils and forming bonds that may last a lifetime.

Girard made the news this week when a 30-year-old former pupil of hers was found wandering the streets alone. Chris Barrington, who has the mental capacity of a six-year-old, was picked by local police officers two months ago after walking in the streets for two days. His father had leukemia and was unable to care for the vulnerable young man. When the police asked Barrington for a name of someone they could contact, he gave them the name of a teacher who had taught him for four years during junior high school —  Michelle Girard — even though they hadn’t been in contact for years.

Girard had obviously made her mark on Barrington, and when the police reached out to her, the teacher offered to take him in. Sadly, Barrington’s father succombed to his illness on August 1, leaving Barrington without any immediate family. Girard immediately stepped up to apply for legal guardianship of her ex-pupil.

Girard is eager to ensure that Barrington experiences many things he’s missed out on. “He’s never had a birthday present, a birthday party, Christmas, Thanksgiving, nothing. So, this year is going to be full of firsts,” shared Girard with KWTX.

The teacher organized a first birthday party, and with the help of JMB Fishing in Waco, Barrington was able to go on his first fishing trip. As Girard also explained, Barrington’s life had been very difficult and that now “he deserves a good life.” With the unbelievable generosity and compassion of his former teacher, it is our hope that Barrington will have many years of happiness ahead.


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