Recently the harrowing trek of an 8-year-old Chinese boy went viral. The story, posted online by his school’s headmaster, showed the boy after walking 4.8 kilometers (about 3 miles) to school in freezing cold temperatures, which had plummeted to -9°C, or 16°F.
The child has since been dubbed the “Ice Boy” because of the heart wrenching pictures of the child with a head and face full of ice, red cheeks, and a coat that looks way too thin.
It turns out that the child had braved the elements on his own to make it to a school exam. The principal of the school, Fu Heng said, “It was -9°C in the morning and it was the first day of the final exam. The temperature had dropped in the last half an hour, and as he lives pretty far from school by the time he got to class his hair was full of frost.”
“The child is cute, he made a funny face when he got to class, causing his classmates to burst into laughter,” said the principal. Apparently the temperature dropped sharply after the 8-year-old had left his house for school, which accounts for his lack of warm clothing.
According to reports, the boy lives in a mud house with his grandmother and older sister. The boy attends school and also helps his grandmother with farming work, leaving his hands rough and calloused.
Shockingly, there is no heating system in the school classrooms, though principal Fu Heng says they have been striving to get such systems put into the school. The little boy told a local newspaper that he loves to read science fiction, to play basketball, and that he hopes to become a policeman one day. The principal says, affectionately, that he’s the class clown. Supporters on social media encouraged the boy to keep studying hard.
Now thanks to the post by his principal, showing his home conditions and the school’s condition, there have been more than $15,000 in donations, heating equipment and dozens of warm sets of clothes, all going to the Zhuanshanbao Primary School in Xinjie, Yunnan Province, China.