Wisconsin Bus Driver Holds Nervous 4-Year-Old's Hand on First Day of School

A Wisconsin mom was hoping to get a photo of her son riding the school bus for the first time. Instead she got a photo that has been spreading a message of kindness across the Internet.

When her 4-year-old, Axel, got on the bus for his first day of school at Augusta Elementary School, Amy Johnson wanted to snap a picture of the special day. But Axel was feeling first-day jitters about leaving for school without his mom.

Bus driver Isabel Lane could tell the pre-kindergartener was feeling nervous when she pulled up. "He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner. [Then] I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," Lane told WEAU 13.

Axel began crying, and his mother had to physically pick him up and put him on the bus.

"She had set him down in the seat, and he kept trying to grab for her as she was trying to get off the bus. So I just stuck my hand behind the seat" and took his hand, Lane said.

That's when Johnson snapped the photo of Lane and Axel holding hands on the bus.

first day bus viral
A photo of Axel Johnson holding his school bus driver's hand on the first day of Pre-K has gone viral Augusta Police Department

"I was just more into that I wanted that perfect picture and whether he was crying or not I just snapped it," Johnson said.

The heartwarming photo has gone viral on social media with many applauding Lane's actions. The Augusta Police Department posted the photo on its Facebook page, where it's received more than a thousand likes.

"The compassion we see every day in our teachers, bus drivers, custodians, administration, food service staff, and paraprofessionals is truly admirable," read the accompanying caption.

For her part, Lane didn't think her actions were very noteworthy.

"I didn't think it was that big of a deal, personally... I guess it's just something that I would do," she said.

Now, little Axel knows he has a friend every day he rides the bus to school.

"The day after that, he was waiting at the bus stop all by himself," Lane added. "He got on all smiles and [was] talking to me the whole time. So he is doing much better now."

Lane has been bus driver in the town of barely 1,500 for a little over a year. But, she says, it's not just children who need a helping hand.

"It kind of goes for anyone—If you see someone maybe struggling, just doing something as simple as reaching out a hand and showing that you are there," can mean a great deal. she said. "You don't have to say anything—just showing someone you are there makes a big difference in someone's day."