KG Students Sign 'Happy Birthday' For Hard-Of-Hearing Custodian

TULLAHOMA, TN — Kindergarteners at a Tennessee school delivered a special happy birthday message for their school custodian who is hearing impaired.

The two kindergarten classes learned how to sign “Happy Birthday” with the help of a teacher’s aide and school nurse, the school said on Facebook. The school said it wanted to surprise James Anthony, a longtime member of the school’s staff, on his 60th birthday.

Mr. James has been with the Coffee County schools in Tennessee since 1991 and has been at Hickerson Elementary School for 15 years.

As Mr. James walks into the classroom and the students start to sign “Happy Birthday,” the surprise and emotion on his face is unmistakable. The video was shot on Tuesday.

The video has been viewed more than 160,000 times and some old students from Coffee County have shared their memories of Mr. James in the comments.

One person wrote that they remembered shooting basketball with Mr. James and another wrote that he was “such a joy to be around!” One person remembered how Mr. James would give students high fives and remarked that he hadn’t aged a single day in nearly 30 years.

You can watch the full video below:

Photo screengrab via Facebook, used with permission

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