MCGREGOR, Texas (KWTX) Two years ago Thursday the lives of Jimmy and Lorna Hering of McGregor changed forever when their 15-year-old son Rhett was killed in a four-wheeler accident.
Rhett Hering. (Courtesy photo)
But over the course of those two years, a simple tribute that involved a single day of acts of random kindness by classmates has grown into a movement called The Rhett Revolution whose message has been delivered to thousands of area students.
"It was designed to help people to give back kindness and love and encouragement (and) to take care of people, Jimmy Hering says.
“And it became the revolution locally to help folks," he said.
The movement caught the attention of the private space exploration company SpaceX, which tests its rocket motors at its facility in McGregor.
The company honored Rhett and the movement sparked by his death by placing a "Rhett Revolution" decal on the first stage booster of a Falcon 9 rocket that was launched in August from the Kennedy Space Center.
A chance meeting on the day of the launch with Florida space blogger, Sawyer Rosenstein, whose life was changed forever in a single, violent encounter with a middle school bully, led to the production of an interactive multi-media program that was presented in November to middle school students in Waco, Killeen, McGregor and Marlin with a powerful message about the consequences of bullying.
Sawyer, KWTX and the board of the nonprofit Rhett Revolution joined forces to produce the space-themed program, which combined Sawyer’s emotional account of the consequences of bullying with Rhett’s legacy of kindness and courage in the face of bullying.
The presentation launched The Rhett Revolution across Central Texas.
McGregor Primary School Principal Cheri Zacharias, a family friend, serves as vice president of the Rhett Revolution board.
"He was just a good kid and that was just in his heart and that's kind of the mission if that can continue and spread around Central Texas if that makes a difference in the way somebody chooses to get up and treat somebody that day and that's major significance for us."