SOMETIMES IT'S JUST TOO MUCH

  1. I'm a social worker.
  2. I work in a middle school and have been doing this work for close to 10 years.
  3. I absolutely love my job.
    I see so many different things. No day is the same. I love helping students and families, advocating for their needs, and helping to elongate barriers to resources.
  4. I am pretty good at maintaining my composure in really tough situations especially when managing a crisis.
  5. But today was hard.
  6. Police came to pick up one of my students because his guardian didn't show up to a court date.
    This is a very complicated story and this isn't the best way to describe why they showed up unannounced but it doesn't really matter why they were there.
  7. The student was confused and overwhelmed and scared.
  8. I was on the phone with children's services trying to figure out what we could do to avoid the police taking him court in the back of a police car.
    They're already involved with the family so I was hoping they could help.
  9. Another staff member was trying to keep him calm while I figured everything out.
  10. But this student's mother passed away over the summer.
    They were insanely close with one another.
  11. He began wailing loudly and begging for his mom.
  12. I had to walk away because I started crying while I was on the phone.
  13. I can not remember a time that my emotions took over like that in the moment. Ever.
    I make my own time to feel all the feels. In front my my students, staff, and the police isn't the place for it.
  14. I have supervision. I have my friends and colleagues to talk to. I have my ways of coping with the many challenges I see every day.
  15. But today was too much.
  16. Well, and if I stop to dwell on all the problems with how the police handled the situation I'll probably start yelling.
    It is frustrating to deal with police who have either received no training in working with children or with children with special needs or they've received it and choose to ignore it. Forget the fact that most of the officers are white and almost all my students are black and brown and the #blacklivesmatter movement has played an enormous role in our students' lives and the police conduct today only supported the need for more police training and cultural sensitivity.
  17. So tonight I'm going to cry some more, snuggle with my son a little longer, and be thankful for what I have, and be thankful that I can wake up for another day and do what I love.