I’m sitting at my desk at the high school. A 15 year old boy named Dwayne comes into my office and asks if he can leave his things here for the morning. It’s midterm week and he doesn’t have a locker. He says he doesn’t know why but I think he really just doesn’t have time to explain.
I know this boy some. He’s sweet. He has an IEP and gets extra time on his tests and this morning he says he’s worried that he won’t be able to finish before his bus leaves at 11:00. He’s young and he’s innocent and I know he has a mom who loves him and takes good care of him.
I watch him putting on his tie and uniform blazer as he heads out the door to the classroom, and my eyes tear up. I feel his vulnerability, his fear of not doing well on the exams, of missing the bus. He’s a kid and I have always loved kids, which is why I am here. Teary eyed and wishing with all my might that I could keep them all safe, make them all feel their worth, help them all to succeed, in high school and in life.
I also fear for them. Not the white kids so much… they come with some built-in protection. They aren’t as likely to be pulled over for a traffic violation and end up being shot or in prison. The odds are in their favor. But kids like Dwayne… well, that’s a different story.
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Thank you for being a place and moment of refuge for this young man.