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Check out what this amazing kid does when he thinks no one is watching

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Currituck County, NC - Students Eric Reed and Jessica Etheridge have a bond.

"She has her own personality, and I like that," said Reed.

Reed is a freshman at Currituck County High School.  Jessica is a 10-year-old special needs student at Central Elementary.  Their friendship may be unlikely to some but was ever so clear in surveillance video captured on the bus they ride to school every day. The video shows Reed singing the "Hokey Pokey" to her in the back of the bus.

"Just to me, it looked like she was having a rough day, kind of down, so I was trying to cheer her up," said Reed.  "I haven't known her that long, but I can just tell she really needed a friend because not everybody gives people chances and I'm one that does."

The beginning of the school year wasn't the best for Reed.  Teachers and counselors say he was defensive and angry a lot. But through the academic year, he has evolved, showing more compassion.

"She`s just not someone to judge you.  And she just is a friend because I have a lot of people judge me all the time.  She`s just awesome."

NewsChannel 3 was there as Jessica's mom saw the surveillance video for the very first time.

"Even though he has maybe his issues, he took the time out with my baby and just gave her some joy, and that just means a lot," said Ina Etheridge, Jessica's mom.

Currituck County Schools Transportation Supervisor Amanda Sweet says she came across the surveillance video while searching for something else.

"I watched six days of video of him just interacting with her, singing with her, talking to her, complimenting her hair, her clothes. It was just really awesome to see a student do that," said Sweet.

So, because of Eric taking action to make a difference, NewsChannel 3 awarded him with a People Taking Action Award and Pin.

"This is what we try to instill in kids - that this stuff matters.  That little gesture made a huge difference," said Kelsey Seibert, counselor at Currituck County High School.

And when asked about what he thought about receiving the People Taking Action Award, Eric said, "I've seen you on TV a couple of times give some teachers these and never thought I'd get one."


  • Steve Montgomery

    This boy deserves much more! Anytime, in this world of bullies, prejudice and disrespect, someone like this is noticed, it should be shouted from the rooftops! What a heart warming story! I wish we could do more to help keep him on the right track!

  • Marquia

    Eric, I’m so proud of you!! It’s what you do when you think no one is watching that shows character.

  • Heather B

    I love you Eric! I’m so proud of you. Live by the spirit. I pray for you everyday. Your God’s son! This is the Eric I know that can make a difference in the world!

  • Don Curtis

    It’s awesome to see a teenager showing the bravery, compassion and maturity Eric displays. This exemplifies what it means to be a great human being. If only some of the brats at my daughter’s school could learn from this…

  • Ms. B

    Eric…have you ever considered a career working with students with special needs? You seem to have a gift! God bless!

  • Delores Newman

    Oh HOW PROUD I am of you! You certainly are growing up..You are so like your beautiful Mother…She has always been a caring and loveable person to all….Now you are that way, and geez honey you even look like her..Hope to see you soon. Love you, Grandmomma Newman

  • BI

    Great job Eric. Kids like you don’t get the credit they deserve. Stay on this path and hopefully it will rub off on others. You make a difference if that girls life and the world in general.

  • Brandy Reed

    My Eric I love you so much. You are my firework. I’m so proud of you. You are the reason I was born.
    Love, Mom

  • jackie wiley

    Way to go Eric, your story brought tears to my eyes, it’s a blessing to see young people being kind and showing there love for others you are a blessing from God!!

  • James Barefoot

    Good job bro. I’m very happy with this. Keep this up and no one will judge you again.

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