They Have WINGS

Sangaree Middle School Students

When the 7th grade students in Ms. Halbrooks' class learned that their beloved teacher was battling stage 4 breast cancer, they wanted to do something to show their support for her.

Sangaree Middle School teacher Cassy Halbrooks came back to school this year following a summer of chemo treatments and major surgery. She wrestled with how much she should share with her students about her health, and after fielding a few questions regarding her new short "haircut," decided to let them know what was going on.

"I felt like cancer is one of those things I needed to be honest with them about. Because they need to know that this happens in life sometimes."

When 7th grader Desmond Whitmore learned about what Ms. Halbrooks was going through, he decided to encourage his classmates to rally around her and show support by wearing pink in her honor.

"I came up with the idea whenever my teacher, Ms. Halbrooks, had said she had stage 4 breast cancer," he told Count on 2 News, "So I put it on Facebook and I said, ‘everyone, wear pink for Ms. Halbrooks.'"

When she showed up to school the next morning to find a classroom full of pink, Ms. Halbrooks says she was surprised and truly touched at the gesture.

"Middle schoolers have a reputation for being immature and hard to get along with," Ms. Halbrooks told us, "Really, they are misunderstood. They have the biggest hearts, and this is one example of how my students have shown their exemplary character. One of the biggest positives of having cancer is that people suddenly feel free to show you their true hearts, and middle schoolers are no exception. I like that it was middle school boys who organized and promoted this "Wear Pink" day. It's not what most people would expect, but it shows who they really are, and they're amazing kids."

Amagee Allah says he feels bad for what his teacher is going through. "Ms. Halbrooks is a nice teacher. I don't feel like she should have to come to school fighting breast cancer. But she's strong enough to do that."

Another of Ms. Halbrooks' students, Kiernan Fisher, registered team Healing for Halbrooks to participate in this year's Susan G. Komen Lowcountry Race for the Cure in her honor.

"I really hope that my students learn compassion through this, that you never know what somebody is going through, and I hope they appreciate life a little bit more."

These kids are learning lessons beyond those in their textbooks through this experience, and we're blown away by the boundless support and empathy they're extending to their brave and beautiful teacher.

Ms. Halbrooks, and all of the remarkable students championing for her, unquestionably have WINGS.

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