Head hanging low, he stood near an East Tampa street corner for nearly four hours Wednesday afternoon.
James Mond III, 15, wore a sign around his neck with a message:
“I did 4 questions on my FCAT and said I wasn’t going to do it … GPA 1.22 … honk if I need (an) education.”
People honked. Lots of people.
This was his mother’s idea. Ronda Holder, 33, a Tampa hair stylist, said she wanted James to realize the importance of an education, afraid he will otherwise wind up on the street.
“I don’t want any of my kids to stand by the side of the road asking for change,” said Holder, the niece of a former Tampa police chief.
By Thursday, her plan had a life of its own. A local TV crew turned James’ punishment into evening news. Franklin Middle School enrolled the teen in after-school tutoring. The Department of Children and Families came to Holder’s home to interview James.