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Girl praised for walking stranded 6-year-old home from school after spotting her next to highway

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When Skyler Smith saw a little girl walking home from school on the side on the highway, she knew something was off.

Smith was driving home with her mother Stephanie Rogers in the town of Union Township, Ohio on Wednesday when she noticed the 6-year-old girl walking on a grassy patch on the side of the busy road.

“She was scared to cross it because she didn’t want anybody to hit her,” Smith told WCPO in Cincinnati.

Rogers echoed her daughter’s sentiments, sharing that the little girl “was certainly terrified trying to make her way across the road.”

“This is not right. This little girl cannot walk down there,” Rogers remembered thinking. “I’m saying this and Skyler picked up on this. Skyler’s like, ‘Well, do something.’ Skyler said, ‘Stop the car. I’m going to walk with her.’”

Knowing she couldn’t invite the scared little girl into a stranger’s car, Smith hopped out of her mother’s vehicle and walked alongside her, while her mother followed the girls closely behind in her car. Rogers snapped several photos of her daughter walking with the child.

An older student helped a nervous 6-year-old walk home on first day of school. (Photo: Stephanie Rogers/WHNT)
An older student helped a nervous 6-year-old walk home along a busy stretch of an Ohio highway on first day of school. (Photo: Stephanie Rogers/WCPO)

It turns out the little girl’s journey from Summerside Elementary in the West Clermont School District was a 25-minute walk that measured an entire mile on Old Route 74 and across the Interstate-275 overpass, which reportedly has no sidewalks. Smith shared that she herself was “a little bit” scared walking along the busy roadway.

When reporters spoke to the little girl’s parents, they noted that she was supposed to be put on the bus in order to be brought home from school. However, the West Clermont Schools told the news outlet that while they’re proud someone stepped up to get a student home safe, they claim they released the student to walk home as directed by her family.

Comments have flowed in on Facebook in support of Smith’s kind gesture.

“Now that’s parenting done right!! What a wonderful thing you did Skyler! This could have turned out oh so wrong in so many ways!” one user wrote. “Wonderful job Mom on the raising of your daughter!!”

“Thank you Skylar! You are a very beautiful young lady!” another commenter wrote.

“Thank goodness for this kind girl ... school personnel need to be more vigilant with these little ones,” someone else chimed in.

Other commenters voiced their concerns over the school district releasing the child on such a treacherous walk home.

“How could the school release her to walk home alone? My daughter’s school bus wouldn’t even drop her at the end of our driveway without someone being there for her,” one person said.

“I can't imagine a parent letting a small child walk home on a busy road where no sidewalks exist,” another wrote. “I really believe that the onus is on the school.”

As for Smith’s kind gesture, her mother said that’s just another example of her being a good person.

“She’s very humble,” said Rogers. “She’s very helpful and ambitious.”

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