Friday, January 17, 2014

Perspective Part Deux

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. 


Feisty Harriet said...

There is a quote in East of Eden that I think really goes with this (and because we read it for book club this month it's fresh on my mind):

"I think this is the best-known story in the world because it is everybody’s story. I think that it is the simple story of the human soul… the greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved and rejection is the hell he fears, I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection come anger, and with anger comes some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime, guilt--and there is the story of mankind. I think that if rejection could be amputated, the human would not be what he is. Maybe there would be fewer crazy people. I am sure in myself there would not be many jails. It is all there--the start, the beginning. One child, refused the love he craves, kicks the cat and hides his guilt; and another steals so that money will make him loved; and a third conquers the world- and always the guilt and revenge and more guilt." --East of Eden (and the inestimable Samuel Hamilton)

Excellet post, thank you for sharing.


Science Teacher Mommy said...

What a very perfect quote. Steinbeck is probably my favorite author. . . . when I'm in a certain mood. I think it is time to re-read that book.

His way of speaking forever reminds me why I love to read the great American novel, but will never write it!