Before reading, please read part 1 here.
Freshman year is probably one of the toughest on students. With “Koolaid”, it was no different. I did not tell him that I accepted the high school math job. When he finally saw me, he was definitely surprised. I wish that I could say that my being there helped him to have an amazing year. That was not the case. As with most students in his situation, the streets called his name and he gladly accepted its call.
To say that “out of school activities” occurred was an understatement. My student, the one that I mentored previously, sat on the radar of our campus police. He would be searched, watched and marked as “one of those kids”. He skipped class and became the statistic that most young males of his situation became.
The difference was that he had people that cared for him. He did a great job of hiding his extra life, but could not hide it from me. I knew. “Koolaid” KNEW that I knew and made every effort possible to avoid any and all contact. I chose not to chase him down in the life that he was leading. Instead, I gave him room to grow and made myself visible, whether he liked it or not. My room was still a safe place, it would remain as such and he knew it.
When you truly care for your kids, it means caring for them in spite of them. My mother taught me that.
My job, as a school stakeholder, was to make sure that I communicated all that I knew through the proper channels. I did that. I sat and watched his school…my school, give up on him and I could sit there no more and watch it.
The road ahead would be rocky but it would be one that was worth it. I always said that I would fight for him even if that meant fighting HIM for him…and I did.
Spring – Freshman Year