Friday, January 09, 2009

Here, there and everywhere?

Bully Boy, we think, is gone.

Bully Boy, of course, was in my Fifth Period From the Very Depths of Hell itself, and he was a piece of work. He could slam a kid into a locker right in front of three teachers and an administrator than deny that he ever did such a thing. It didn't matter that there were witnesses (and often times video)of his stunts, he never did anything wrong, it was everyone else's fault, and the world was picking on him. He threw things constantly and spent a great deal of time up in ISS. The ISS Teacher, who has the patience of a Saint and loves these kids like no other, could hardly stand him. He was rude, mean, had no work ethic, and basically was going no where but down-hill fast.

Of course, if you knew his story, it all made sense.

Bully Boy, when he showed up in August, wasn't even living with a biological family member. He was living with his mother's best friend who also happened to be his godmother. This woman, bless her heart, was trying to do the right thing for a kid who probably never appreciated a single thing she did for him - buying him a television, games, nice clothes, and keeping a roof over his head and food in his belly. His parents both have serious drug habits and spend a lot of time in and out of jail. Any money they may have go towards drugs so there's times Bully Boy went hungry when he was living with a parent. His dad, according to godmother, is a bully himself and most likely abusive. His lying and bullying are most likely survival techniques he's learned living in the conditions he's lived in.

He had, in short, been bounced from relative to relative and now to a family friend all his life.

He wasn't in school on Tuesday and when I sent out an email to my parent contacts with the new study guide, I got an email back from his godmother's mother (who works for the district and would print out the emails and give to her daughter who didn't have email), asking me to take her off the email list as Bully Boy was no longer living with her daughter.

Hum. Interesting. I didn't pursue it for a few days because for all I knew, Bully Boy was still in our zone. However, today, curiosity got the best of me and I emailed godmother's mother back and asked if she knew what was going on as we hadn't heard anyone and Bully Boy was a no show.

Oh boy, did I get an earful. Apparently her daughter had to take a job in another part of the state and decided she couldn't take him with her. Part of her decision was she was probably just worn down with the effort of trying to help him pass 7th grade, and the other was the parents decided they wanted him back (they are both apparently out of jail). In the three weeks since we left for break, Bully Boy has lived with his father, then moved in with his mother, then lived with a grandmother, and now is back with his mother in another city nearby.

She hasn't bothered to even try to enroll him in school as no one has called to get his records.

As godmother's mother said, "I've known this family for years and they are nothing but a nightmare."

No kidding.

So right now, who knows where this kid really is, who he's really living with, and how long it will last.

Any bets on whether he'll graduate from high school? Or even make it to high school?

And whose fault will that be??? It should be the parents' but we all know that the government will blame the teachers, the schools, the administrators.

I feel like the government's scapegoat.


Darren said...

This is a kid who doesn't seem to stand a chance.

But as he gets older, he'll still be responsible for his own decisions.

NYC Educator said...

You should feel that way, I suppose. In NYC and DC, at least, the official line is the only variable is the classroom teacher. Any and all outside factors are to be ignored, as dealing with them may shift "accountability" elsewhere. said...

The majority of our school is made up of kids just like this, only at the high school level, bigger, angrier, tougher. After four years with us, many have the only a handful of units. Yet, we are told it is our fault that more do not graduate.

Sarah said...

How sad. I feel bad for him. This kid needs a stable home to have a chance.

Peach Pod said...

I know how you feel. We have students who stuff their pockets with food on Fridays because they know they won't find any at home. And then you have the students with the bully parents who think that if they come to the school and complain to administration and come to out room and bully us enough, we'll change their kid's grades. It just wears on you.

Sue said...

Hi while I am not a teacher, I am a school bus driver, and can sympathize with the frustration of dealing with bullies and other bad behaviors. Your absolutely right parents will lay blame on anyone and everyone other than themselves or their child. To take a peek at some of our worries visit