They called him ‘stupid’

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 575 views 

Considering the busy schedule of many who read The City Wire, it borders on unreasonable to ask you to watch a 25-minute video produced by a junior high student in Arkansas that tells the story of a troubled teen from Kansas. It’s more unreasonable, however, that we would fail to direct you with all our effort to do so.

The story begins when Maxwell, the teen from Kansas, bought $60 worth of candy from a Candy Craze store in Bartlesville, Okla., in the spring of 2013. Maxwell’s mother was upset that the store allowed him to buy the large amount of candy. She confronted a store worker, and the situation did not end well.

Maxwell’s interaction with Candy Craze is much more about $60 worth of candy.

Tim Bailey, the CEO of Fort Smith-based Candy Craze, explains in the video what happened when he reached out to Maxwell and his mother to apologize. (Candy Craze has 31 stores in 10 states – including a store each in Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas – and employs about 150.)

“(W)e called him stupid right in front of his mother, but it’s turning into a good story because now I’m developing a relationship with Maxwell,” Bailey said in the video.

But that’s just half of a story that includes exotic plants, foul-smelling flowers, the humility of a successful businessman, and a young man with a terrible burden.

The video is produced by Chaffin Junior High School (Fort Smith Public Schools) student Brandon Clements. Clements learned of the story because Bailey is a Partner In Education with Chaffin, and tells his Maxwell story to the students every chance he gets.

“Brandon Clements, one of our students, was moved by the story and wanted to find a way to promote Mr. Bailey's story. Brandon reached out to Mr. Bailey and then planned a time for the interview. I am very proud of Brandon for his initiative and his desire to do this,” said Todd Marshell, the principal of Chaffin Junior High.

Please, please, take the time to watch this story. And as Brandon said in his note to Marshell, “it is more meaningful if you watch it in one sitting.”