Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Everything comes with a story. Usually its impossible to help a student without hearing multiple levels of stories. We met with one student's mother today because he has been consistently absent. On one layer, he stopped coming to school because he thought that he had already failed his classes, he got an inaccurate version of the policy and went with it rather than asking his teachers. On another layer, he was failing his classes anyway because he needs special services due to ADHD and other disabilities that were not being addressed. On a still deeper level, he was having issues with gangs- got in a fight at lunch and couldn't take the bus for fear of getting in the middle of something. A member of the city gang task force came to the meeting to discuss the situation- how he shouldn't be wearing a red t-shirt underneath his uniform, by sitting with certain student at lunch he was associating himself with a gang, even if he wasn't a member of it, that she could kick the threatening individuals off the bus, but since they live near him and school can't protect him in his neighborhood that probably isn't the best solution. High school is complicated enough as is- add more gangs than I can remember (with some absolutely ridiculous names) and it becomes downright overwhelming.

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