WHITESBURG, Ky. — A student's heartwarming note asking the teacher to give his five bonus points to classmates went viral.
It was the WWII exam day. As Winston Lee, a history teacher at Letcher County Central High School in Kentucky, collected exam papers from students, he noticed an asterisked note on one paper. He took a picture of the note by an unnamed student and posted it on Facebook.
"One of my guys, a straight A+ guy, offers up his 5 bonus points to someone in need. Anyone. Totally offering up what is rightfully his, his earning, to any peer that may have been struggling especially hard the day of the test," Lee wrote in a Facebook post.
The note read: "If you could, can you give my bonus points to whoever scores the lowest?" The student scored 94% in the test. The bonus points would have bumped his score up to 99%.
"[I] could not be more proud of this student," Lee told HeartThreads. "What an inspiration to others in committing such a selfless act of kindness!"
Lee hoped that the note would inspire other students to be mindful of their peers and pass the compassion and kindness.
The post has since been shared and liked tens of thousands of times. People commented on social media to applaud the selflessness of the student.
"This is the way everybody should act! Be kind to everyone!" One person wrote.
However, the post also drew cynical responses from people who thought giving extra points to low-performing students did nothing to help them improve their academic performance. Lee disagrees.
"Students' exam performance is sometimes unpredictable. Lots of our students may be bad 'test-takers' or distracted by a situation at home or other negative circumstances that made them perform at a lower level on a particular day," Lee said.
The test points that the student offered to give away helped another student who scored 58% to pass the test.
"This student knows she can’t count on extra points all the time. So, the hope is that she makes these points worthwhile in not putting herself in a failing situation again, inspiring her to do better and maybe even hope to repay the favor by giving away her own bonus points one day," said Lee.
Lee wrote in a story published on Love What Matters that many of their students come from low-income households and often face difficult circumstances, but they "never cease to amaze."
"Oddly enough, I was the one taught a lesson that day," Lee wrote.