Last year, one of my girls, I'll call her Lola, had a rough year. Like many other freshmen, she had a pretty difficult transition from junior high into high school. She failed most of her classes and got in trouble quite a lot.
This year, when she started in my class, she informed me she was going to work hard and pass all her classes this year. And for the first month, she did. Then....she started to slide. She started skipping classes again, not bringing her supplies to class, trying to sleep during class, and not turning in her assignments. I emailed her dad a few times, talked to her, talked to her other teachers, and no one really knew what to do. She claimed that everything was fine and everything was under control.
Last week, on Wednesday, we had a split class - 50 minutes of class, then lunch, then 50 more minutes of class. The first half of class, she did nothing except the one question on the quiz we did together. She went to lunch, and when she came back in, she had some apple slices in her hands - which she threw at another kid - and about 5 minutes after class restarted, she asked to go to the nurse because her stomach hurt. I said fine, whatever, since it was clear she wasn't going to do any work anyway. Towards the end of the period, I emailed the nurse to ask if she made it down there. The nurse said, sure, Lola came down, laid down for about 15 minutes, then when the bell rang for 2nd lunch, she went to lunch.
I have to confess....I was a little bit gleeful. One of the things I do revel in - just a little - is catching a kid in a bold-faced lie. So, I wrote Lola a referral and asked Principal Marshmallow specifically to deal with it that day. After school, I asked him what had happened, and he told me that she told him she hadn't been able to eat lunch that day, so she went to 2nd lunch...and he was ok with that.
I was NOT ok with that.
Then on Friday, Lola wore a shirt that was......inappropriate, to put it lightly. I will NOT be quoting her shirt here. If I had caught her before the last 30 seconds of class, I would have sent her to the office, but since I caught it so late, I emailed the principal and she got in trouble the next period.
That night, at the basketball game, Lola and a bunch of girls were hanging out in the bathroom drinking (vodka, I am assuming). The woman taking tickets got suspicious when the same bunch of girls kept going in and out and began staggering. The administration found an empty bottle in the trash and a partially full one in her backpack.
All of this resulted in an email yesterday that announced that Miss Lola will be suspended until March. In addition, the previously mentioned Samantha was also suspended for having marijuana in her backpack at the same game....she and her friends smelled so strongly of pot that we could smell them on the floor of the gym while they were up in the stands.
Every day I see these kids make their way through the pitfalls and temptations of high school, and I hope desperately that some of them make it without doing something that will screw them up for the rest of their lives.
3 more days.