The third-grade teacher, Özlem Pınar Ivaşcu, said the students fell in love with Tombi straight away. “The children liked him very much,” she said.
And, of course, Tombi loved the children just as much. He enjoyed exploring the classroom and making it his home.
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However, there was a problem. The school administration thought that Tombi could be a possible health risk. They said that he would have to be relocated to somewhere more suitable.
“We found a house for Tombi and he stayed there for three days, but he was not happy. He stopped eating,” says Özlem. “So I took him home, but here too he was not happy. ”
The children were also heartbroken. Tombi had become a calming presence in the classroom and had even helped some of the students who were struggling to focus before. The children sent Tombi letters and pictures to let him know they were missing him.
“When he first joined our class, I noticed a change in the children’s behavior. They were more careful and stopped running around in the classroom. They couldn’t wait to come back to school the next morning (which is remarkable for some 9-year-old children).”
Beut Özlem, a dedicated and kind-hearted teacher, decided to make it her mission to make sure Tombi was reunited with the children.
She shared Tombi's story on social media, and not long after it was picked up by a local news station.
After all the attention, the school administration decided to allow Tombi to return to the classroom where he belonged.