The actions of a few Ooltewah High students in a notorious rape case last year have been hard for the school to overcome. The negative attention has drowned out the good things happening at the school, until now. A good deed performed by several students prevented some of their friends from going hungry.  

International Baccalaurate seniors at Ooltewah are taught to tackle problems, and create solutions.  That training came in handy on Friday.

According to federal guidelines, students on free and reduced lunch are required to re-apply at the start of each school year, with a parent or guardian's participation.  They have thirty days in which to do so, but about sixty students missed the deadline.  When their friends discovered they might be turned away, they took action.

Within two hours, they had raised almost seven hundred dollars, enabling every student to enjoy a good meal.  School nutrition manager Hollie Isaac expressed gratitude and relief, helping to avoid an uncomfortable situation.

The story spread quickly on social media, crediting the students with stepping up to help others, showing the true colors of a proud school, battling a damaged reputation.  This, they say is the real Ooltewah.

The money was raised on Friday by students visiting classrooms, but because of a ten-day delay in processing the paper applications, some students could still be short on lunch funds for a few weeks.  The IB students (Devon Sisunik, Kadence Steele, Grey Mangan, Abbey Binns, Maddie Raughton, and Clay Cumbelich), led by teacher Erica Hitchcox and principal Robin Copp have set up a GoFundMe page in an effort to raise a thousand dollars, and are just short of the goal.