South Lenoir student takes horse to school after missing the bus
South Lenoir’s Autumn Bright didn’t want to be late for school and didn’t have a ride Thursday, so she traveled on horse to make it. Submitted photo
DEEP RUN — Autumn Bright wasn’t going to be late to school.
On Thursday, the South Lenoir freshman missed the bus and with limited options, took “Throwback Thursday” to another level by riding her horse to school. Bright said her family has owned horses since she was two years old and she was adept at traveling with the animal.
“I knew my mom and dad would be mad, and my aunt who stays beside us wasn’t around,” Bright said. “I stay about 3 miles from school and I felt this was the only way I could get there.”
Bright said she received quite a bit of attention.
“All of the students thought it was funny,” Bright said. “One of the seniors put their parking pass on it and the FFA is having an event in February, hoping I could bring the horse back.”
Bright did have to take her horse back and assistant principal Janet Blaebaum brought her back to South Lenoir, but the student did make it to school on time.
“(The tardiness) didn’t count against me,” Bright said.
South Lenoir principal Steve Saint-Amand said it was certainly a first for him.
“I’ve been in education for 28 years so not much surprises me, but this was a different story,” Saint-Amand said. “My first thought was ‘why is she bringing the horse’ and then I had concern immediately for the safety of her coming to school and also how we were going to get the horse off campus. I never want to put anyone in harm’s way and there were several factors that could’ve gone wrong, which scared me, but thankfully nothing happened.”
Saint-Amand said there are plans in motion so Bright won’t have to resort to bringing her horse to school again.
“I talked to her afterwards and then we had another conversation Friday morning that if she misses the bus, call the school and someone will pick her up,” Saint-Amand said. “Autumn is a good student—she’s in honors classes and I’m glad she was passionate about making it to school.
“This was definitely something you don’t see every day — I don’t think this has been done in several generations. She’ll have a story to tell for the rest of her life and at the end of the day, we were able to take her back to school as she went about her day.”