Grinch redeemed

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Burlington students cause his heart to grow three sizes

Principal David Ashworth, having been kidnapped by the Grinch, was bound and gagged with duct tape and wheeled out on a dolly during an event at Burlington Elementary School on Monday. (Submitted photo | Cassie Lunsford)

BURLINGTON — Just before their break for the Christmas holiday, Burlington Elementary found themselves in the same situation as residents of Whoville on Monday.

The school day began with the news that principal David Ashworth was missing and that the title character from Dr. Seuss’s “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” was responsible and was planning on cancelling the holiday.

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The fire department and the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene and did a sweep of the building, as the Grinch had been seen in the school throughout the day.

In the afternoon, the students were called outside the building, where they quickly spotted the Grinch on the rooftop near the school entrance (and bearing a passing resemblance to the school’s physical education teacher, Jim Robinson).

After the bitter character taunted the students and scurried about the roof, the children began singing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” first infuriating the Grinch, but eventually causing him to have a change of heart.

It was at that point that assistant principal Cassie Lunsford was called forward. The Grinch tossed her the sack of stolen presents and then he descended down a ladder provided by the fire department.

Now redeemed, the Grinch brought out the missing Ashworth, who was found bound and gagged with duct tape on a dolly.

Once freed, he and the Grinch embraced were hugged by students.

The colorful day’s events served as something of a sequel since Ashworth became principal in the fall. In October, students were brought outside to watch a giant pumpkin dropped from a crane and smashed into the ground at Hatcher’s Greenhouse lot across the street.

Students in the South Point school district reported for half a day on Tuesday before heading home for the Christmas break, which will last until after New Year’s Day.