November 8, 2010

To the child who brought an (unloaded) bb gun to school today:

When the assistant principal came and picked you up from my room today, I assumed you'd been fighting on the playground.  When she called my room phone and told me you'd brought something unsafe to school today, I assumed it was a pocket knife or lighter.  But when she told me that it was a gun, my jaw dropped.  Unloaded, no ammo, and without an intent or plan to harm.  [Thank goodness, or I would be shaking my head as you cleaned out your desk, expelled, and off to who knows where to do god knows what...]  But a gun was in MY classroom today.  Yes, I know it was just a bb gun.  I know you and your friends might play with these, that they're viewed as toys by some, but they are STILL weapons, guns, dangerous.  And if you brought a bb gun today, who's to say what will be next, for you or someone else?

I'm not quite sure what to make of this.  When the assistant principal and I talked this evening, she told me that you did not want to hurt anyone.  I didn't think you would.  But as she continued talking, and told me that you got it from someone in the community, that you were worried about other people in the community, kids and adults, and that you felt like you needed it...I didn't exactly feel any better.  I have no idea what you were thinking, and part of me wants to tell you what a stupid thing you did and yell at you that you are the LUCKIEST KID IN THE WORLD that you are not in more trouble...but then I stop, think, and sigh...  

You are too good for this kind of thing.  You have a good heart and a good head and it breaks MY heart to think that there are things in your life that make you think, at age 10, you should have a gun on hand.  And I fear for your future--who will you be in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years?  Where will you be, and with whom?  Please tell me what I can do to help you, because I just don't know.  I am here for you.  I am here for you from 8:35am-3:00pm, but sadly, when you walk out of my room and I say good-bye with a high-five and a smile, where are you going?  And how can I be there with you, in your head, even then?  I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. 

And so, tonight I add you to the list of children about whom I will stay awake worrying...

Miss Teacher

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