I WILL NEVER FORGET...

  1. The first time a parent betrayed my trust.
  2. To be fair, the parents of my students don't owe me anything. But I'm an advocate to their children, and there are a few things that parents owe to their children
    **in my opinion**
  3. One of them is safety.
  4. And I'll never forget the day a parent broke that trust in me.
  5. This was a parent I wanted to like so desperately. Many of my coworkers disliked her but I wanted to give her a fair shot.
    She was a single mother of three and her son (my student, Evan, from these lists: SOME THOUGHTS ON "BAD" KIDS, SOMETIMES VICTORIES DON'T LOOK LIKE VICTORIES: A STORY ABOUT MY STUDENT WITH SPECIAL NEEDS has special needs.)
  6. So I was friendly with her, tried my best to get to know her and let her know honestly how Evan was improving.
  7. Then Evan came in with a bruise on his face starting from the left side of his chin and creeping all the way up to his eyebrow
  8. I needed to excuse myself from the room when I saw it, I nearly puked.
    This is coming from someone who wants to be a doctor. I can handle a little gore. I suspect this was more about my emotions than the actual bruise, but it was ugly.
  9. Evan had missed school two days prior to this. It's hard for me to think about what the bruise looked and felt like the days and hours after impact.
  10. When Evan's mom picked him up that day, I somehow managed to look her in the eye and say "he had an amazing day."
  11. And it KILLED me
    I didn't want her to think that her abuse improved his behavior. I also didn't want the abuse to continue because she thought he was being "bad"
  12. The bruise healed, of course. I forgave the mother because it hurt me too much to continue to be angry.
  13. I'm friends with the mom on Facebook now. Her kids don't go to my school because she moved. She just graduated nursing school. She seems to be in a better place. I hope she is.
  14. I don't know who this list is for. I guess it's mainly for me but that seems selfish. If there's a takeaway from this list let it be this: trust your gut when it comes to a child's safety.
    I didn't like this woman but I wanted to give her a chance. Sometimes realism needs to beat optimism and safety is one of those times. Don't hesitate to intervene for someone who can't intervene for themselves.