Sooo the past couple of weeks at school have been more that interesting. And eye opening. And baffling. And any other word that might describe the craziness of what I am about to type. Granted, I tend to exaggerate and be a "drama queen" at times, so these things may not be that big of a deal, just to my sheltered little East Cobb mind.
ANYWHO. We have lost a couple of kids over the past couple of weeks. And not because they have been cleared to go back to their regular school. It mostly boils down to one particular student, the same student who told me I was going to need an ambulance. This student, we will call him L, had reallllllly been egging one of the other boys on, we will call him G. G had made it known that he had...brace yourselves..had sex with his mother. He had bragged about seeing her naked and having a physical relationship with her (although I never heard any of it. Thank God) in detail by saying that while she was in the shower, he would go in to the bathroom and get in the shower with her. Ummmm. NO. WORDS. So when DFACS showed up at school to talk to him about it, G was straight mad. He started cussing up and down the hallway, and I believe blamed it on L. I highly doubt L would even know how to look up the number for DFACS, but he does know how to push everyone's buttons so like everything else these kids do, I wouldnt put it past him. So G blamed it on L and I am pretty sure that is what caused even more tension between the two of them.
Luckily a physical altercation between G & L did not happen. Probably because L knew that G could realllllly hurt him if that did happen. Or also because G did not come to school for a couple of days after some of this was going on, only for us to find out he was in jail after a physical altercation at home with his drunk uncle. Oooookay then. Tell me how a 13 year old gets sent to jail when the uncle is drunk? So one student gone for at least 21 days. It depends on what the judge decides seeing as this student does have a record with the law already..probably why he did get sent to jail. Technically G not being in school currently is not directly related to L. So I guess I shouldn't have said that it ALL boils down to L.
A couple weeks ago, however, DOES boil down to L. At one point, he called another student, R, a slang gang name, that R obviously took offense to because he hit L in the face. Honestly, I dont blame R one bit. L had it coming and he knew it. So the police came to school, as they do for most physical altercations. The police technically were supposed to "take someone away", as my host teacher put it, and that someone should have been R since he hit L, but both of my host teachers backed him up saying that when L was present and in the classroom, the entire dynamic of the classroom completely changes because he pushes everyone's buttons soo much. So it was decided that L would move homeroom's to the class across the hall from us for the time being.
Flash forward to the following week. We were having a pretty smooth day up until the point when we heard over the radio that we were on lockdown. Well. For those of you who attended school in the Metro Atlanta Area such as myself, a lockdown means that all doors are to be locked and lights in the classroom are to be turned off because there is someone on campus with a weapon. So naturally, I freaked out. My host teachers were laughing at me as I hid next to a cabinet to the right of the door, so I couldnt be seen from the door window. Now that I look back, I would have laughed at me too. Hah! They explained that lockdown simply meant that students and teachers were not meant to enter the hallway because officials (police, firefighters, EMT's) are most likely there to assist with a student. After awhile, we were permitted out in the hallway only to make our way to lunch. The police & EMT's were standing outside the student bathroom. No one really knew what was going on so we assumed that someone was refusing to come out of the bathroom or a child had been moved into the bathroom so as to not bother any other classes. (This school could very much use a therapy room so they dont have to use the bathroom when a child is having a somewhat uncontrollable tantrum or anger outburst)
Once we got down to the lunchroom, I asked one of the other Middle School teachers if he knew what was going on. He very quietly said that he thought L was in the bathroom trying to kill himself. Ohh crap. Come to find out later in the day, that was indeed the case. One of my host teachers told me she had never seen him act like that and that she didnt know he had such tendencies, so at first we wondered what his motive was (attention) or if he really was having a hard time. A few days later I asked one of the administrators who handle's L when he is having a bad day what the latest was on his situation. She told me he suffered from bipolar disorder and that this had happened before. A week later he was still in the hospital for tests, etc. I have not had a chance to ask the administrator about him since then.
It breaks my heart to think about these kids being so young and already having so many issues. Will they grow out of it? Will they ever recieve the help that they need to progress in life? These kids families most likely do not have the resources to get their child all the help that they need to overcome these emotional & behavioral problems that they have. They are expected to fail by almost everyone in their life. Their parents, their peers, even some of their teachers. I am so glad I will have this blog to look back to and remember to BELIEVE in my students - whether they be emotionally & behaviorally challenged or severely & profoundly disabled. Expectations are everything. It is so easy for a teacher to establish herself in her career and get caught up in what society believes these children are capable of rather than remembering what she is taught during her higher education years (at least I hope other schools teach this.)
WHEW! I'll get off my soap box now. And maybe study for that test. Thank you again to any readers! Although I did do this for myself, it always helps to see that I do, in fact, have readers. If I didnt bore you to tears, dont forget to click "Follow" on your way out :) Now, off to