An Old Wound

This popped up in my Facebook feed this afternoon:

I keep thinking, after everything that happened to me at CHS and after all the time that’s passed, that I’ve come to some sort of peace with the way that things went down.

I’m not sure that’s entirely true.

As I watched this video, I felt myself simultaneously tearing up and seething with rage. This teacher, whom the student clearly saw as someone safe, was able to take the student’s hand and, ostensibly, walk her to the office of someone whose job it is to make sure that she gets the care and attention that she needs. She was able to take that kid to someone whose job it is to find that student a safe place to spend the night, or to find that student a legal representative, or to get that student connected with services that would see to it that she was properly cared for.

I didn’t have that. There was literally no one to whom I could bring my students; in fact, my students were sometimes coming to me because the person whose job it was to take care of such things was unapproachable and incompetent. The administration did nothing to ameliorate that situation and did nothing to support me when I took on the (desperately needed) role of support for the students.

As a consequence, I lost my job.

I still resent the shit out of the people who allowed those conditions to develop, and who did nothing to change them when it became obvious that such an environment was completely unsustainable. The only thing for which I am grateful is that no one died as a result of their negligence, incompetence, and utter compassionate and empathetic failure. That almost wasn’t true.

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