Sep 18, 2008

A Troubled DC Student Absconds From School !

Yesterday was a sad day for me. A troubled student absconded from Garfield Elementary School. It wasn't clear what triggered her to run away. Her grandmother informed all staff that she has ran away from home on several occasions as well. (I wish she had told us this before ). This act brought our staff together and made us closer somehow. We were all clearly concerned about this students whereabouts. The teacher in this classroom literally hitched a ride from a stranger to go searching the neighborhood for her. Others of us walked the neighborhood calling out her name. It was 20 minutes of PANIC, luckily for us and our student- when our physical education teacher yelled out her name one last time- she appeared after hiding in the brush behind an apartment complex running with open arms to him. WHEWWWW ! We were relieved.

I took the afternoon to meet with her. She talked- I listened. I let her know how concerned we all were and the real scare that she gave everybody at school as well as her grandmother. She said Ms. P you mean you all were really worried about me. I responded yes - we care and we don't want anything to happen to you. In that instant I believe that a light went on somehow with her. She agreed with me that we need a plan when she gets upset that rather than running away she can have an emergency pass to a teacher or administrator in the school. She nodded yes. I looked up to the heavens and I said in my own mind- thank you God- we owe you !

Working with emotionally disturbed students is a challenge for all programs especially when they are understaffed like ours. We are still awaiting our central office to send in the troops if you will. At least the staff that they have already promised- a special education teacher and an educational aide. Although this may still not address all of the problems we have at the very least students will be getting the services that they are entitled. SOS-SOS-SOS- If somebody is listening out there, we need help at Garfield Elementary school before the unthinkable happens. Posted by Candi.


Anonymous said...

The stuff teachers and service providers go through in our professional lives educating and working with children. The things I tell my friends and relatives who aren't in education shocks them and at times they don't believe me. But how could we make this stuff up?

Anonymous said...

You bonded and she'll remember your conversation.The needed support is not just isolated to your system and it's all over. Try an alternative educational setting some day.Assbergers syndrome and brillant!We have serious operational and proceedual violations going on in public education at to many buildings due to no help.My friend is a school psychologist and I talked out of private practice and got her into public education.Her principle is having an affair with the maintance man. The teacher's suspected and it bothered them.The principle calls a staff meeting and hands every teacher a transfer letter and threatens their position swearing she isn't having the affair.In fact she is and left her husband over the summer.My friend was like, oh my and now what do I do ? The entire building has been disrupted.Let's be sure to say,get rid of all the bad teacher's and that's such an unfair debate.The maintance man is up to Tom foolishness and in the building disrupting the office throwing grasshoppers.DSS is on the line in the middle of a crisis with a child and it's unreal and uncalled for.Non-speaking english student record documentation arrives at the school inaccurate on birth date. The child is placed in the wrong grade level for three years and it went undetected until my o'l my buddie got there.Keep up the great work !