Saturday, October 14, 2006

If You Can't, Maybe We Can...

How many layers are there to this story?

I first heard this story today and was embarrassed not to have caught it on the news.

An eighteen year old HS student is kicked out of his house. For days, he's gone to school and gotten money here for lunch. He's sustained himself hanging out at school, it's night and he's hungry. He sneaks back into the school and steals a bag of chips in the cafeteria.

A security guard catches him. He's taken off to County jail and spends several days there. The DA (don't even get me started about the DA) drops second degree burglary charges against him only after the local paper discovers the story and it goes public.

Meanwhile, the kid was a model prisoner and was in heaven. He had a bed, all the food he could eat. What's not to love?

When the charges are dropped and he's released, his school takes over. They work to get him in a group home and now he's in school and living in a place where he gets some care.

This kid could be in my class, maybe yours, oh edu-bloggers. The kid would bug me. He doesn't behave, he asks for money, he gets sent to in school suspension. But this same kid, obviously not a raging success in school during the day, feels that his school is the safest place to stay and he chooses to live there when his home is no longer an option.

The whole story is here, read it but be aware you'll have to register with the Daily Oklahoman (grab a fake password from BugMeNot if you'd like). I taught at this school for a year and again, this kid could have slipped through the cracks of my very classroom. The lesson I am reminded of is this: listen to kids. Let them talk sometimes and really listen. A former principal of mine used to say that many times school is the best place a kid will be all day.

Know what the kid's t shirt read? The one he wore for ten days straight while he lived in his HS courtyard?

I Can't Do Good All The Time.

1 comment:

Horse Philosopher said...

A nice piece,and very true. I teach such kids as well, and they're the kids I enjoy working with the most. Thanks for your poignant comments.

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