School Resource Officer Comes Upon Girl With Special Needs Frozen In Corner – Starts Singing To Her
Raquel Zuniga is a seventh grade student at Herbert Slater Middle School in Santa Rosa, California, and the 12 year-old suffers from various disabilities.
Raquel can often be seen clutching a stuffed Kermit The Frog doll as she walks around the school attending classes for students with moderate to severe disabilities. Though Kermit often helps calm Raquel’s anxiety, sometimes he is not enough to completely calm her down.
Raquel’s mother Ally explained that her daughter has trouble transitioning between classes, as it is hard for her to go from one activity to another. Meaghan King, Raquel’s teacher, have been a witness to the girl’s anxiety.
“She was just having hard time transitioning from the hallway to outside,” Meaghan said. “Transitions are tough.”
A few different teachers walked up to Raquel as she stood frozen in the corner of the hallway, but none of them could get through to her. Finally, after almost an hour, school resource officer Chris Morrison walked over to see if she could help.
Chris spent twelve years working as a teacher for high-risk students in Los Angeles before she joined the Santa Rosa Police Department, where she’s since worked for eighteen years. Though she’s been a cop for years now, she still has the instincts of a teacher.
When she saw Raquel, Chris approached her and began to sing the 1977 song “Rainbow Connection,” which was made famous by Kermit The Frog himself.
Assistant Principal Jessica Romero said that she was not surprised when she saw what Chris was doing, saying that she has “a very special soul.”
“The three of us adults were standing there in awe,” Jessica said of the moment. “She comes to everything she does with heart, with empathy, and perspective, and is able to kind of build that rapport with students.”
The officer’s supervisor, Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Jeneane Kucker, agreed with this.
“It’s typical of her with her personality. She’s just a very caring officer, person in general to go out of her way to assist a teacher with this child,” she said, adding that Chris often “goes out of her way, goes above and beyond, especially in situations like this where a child just needs a little extra help.”
Raquel’s face lit up as soon as Chris started singing. She could not believe the officer was singing her favorite song!
“When you see the video and the way, at the end, Raquel turns and smiles, that says it all,” her mother Ally said. “She knew, and that, I think really made the connection special.”
For Chris, however, the pleasure was all hers.
“That young lady’s smile made my day, made my week, made my year,” the officer said. “Just absolutely a moment I won’t forget, and reminds me why I’m in the profession I’m in.”
Check out the moment for yourself below!