The music that students sang for beloved teacher Ben Ellis might not in itself be what makes this story so touching, but it gives us an emotional entry point, a catharsis. Seeing 400 kids and teachers show up in support of a sick man is powerful as is, but hearing them raise their voices is enough to make anyone overcome with emotion.
Ellis is a Latin teacher at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee living with an aggressive form of esophageal cancer. When, according to Billboard, the student body learned that he and his family decided to stop treatment, over 400 students and faculty spontaneously left their classrooms and took buses to Ellis’s house.
That’s where the original video comes in. Here’s the entire student body singing a hymn to Ellis:
The story took off when country singer Tim McGraw reposted the video on his Facebook page, where it quickly earned (as of this writing) nearly 30 million views. People around the world have been moved by this story; for some of their comments (including one from Ellis’s father), see our video above.
Our thoughts are with the Ellis family in this difficult time.
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