One of my students was pulled from school today. In handcuffs. I didn't see him today because we have a block schedule and it wasn't my day to have him in class. He was pulled for threatening two teachers. Yes, threatening them in a way that leads to national headlines and no new gun laws. But not out loud--to a friend. A third party heard them and became concerned that it was serious so they told a teacher. I wasn't the teacher targeted. And maybe it was just all talk.
If you happen to run into a teen this week who feels a little unloved, try to reach out to them, please. I know this boy's story. And as much as I don't want our school to be another headline, I think that millions of kids like this boy need to be more in the forefront of our thoughts. Learning disabilities. Substance abuse from his caregivers. A restraining order against his mother while aging grandma struggles to feed him. Cutting. Such darkness that there may be no turning back for him. Maybe if these millions living lives of quiet desperation could get a little more positive attention in the form of funded schools, safe communities with green space for clear breathing, and loving families then we would have less of those other kinds of headlines. The ones that shatter lives and make us live in fear.
I hope I am a little more patient tomorrow. A little kinder. A little more forgiving while these kids figure out who they are going to be and reach out in their awkward ways to find guidance.