In Plain Sight….
Well, not EXACTLY.
On Thursday, at school a student from my Honors Class asked me if he could get a drink of water during passing period. This was not an unreasonable request, so I granted it. I had been a bit confused, at my door to my class…since I had seen a few students who are…not known to be scholars peering into my room, after a few “walk bys.”
When they followed the student who wanted to get some water, I was interested, and monitored the situation. You know, like teachers are supposed to do under those circumstances. I wasn’t to sure what could possibly be “up”, but it seemed unusual that these other two young men were hanging around, and that they had such a sudden interest in Honor Students. As a result, I walked a few paces from my door, to keep things in view.
I want to be clear…a few paces. I could still see INTO my own classroom. That’s important here…that really, my Edu-Dungeon had not been left behind. It speaks to the sheer audacity of what happened next.
Out in the open, in literal broad daylight, money and a baggie changed hands. Directly in front of a teacher. So much so that the recipient of the money held up this cash, waved to m with it, and went off to class. My own student came back, as if I either didn’t see, or didn’t understand what happened.
“Hold up, young man,” I said to him. What was that about.
“I gave him some money.”
Genius, that. “Yeah, I saw. What for.”
“You just hand other random students money for no reason? I don’t think so.” I waited a minute, and just put it out there. “If the principals did a random search right now, would you be clean?”
“I took a shower this morning.”
That gave me pause, and made me consider the designation “honors class.” I then rephrased for simplicity, “Would you have anything on you that the principal should NOT find.”
“Oh. Oh yeah.”
THAT was a revelation, right? The conversation went on in this circuitous, dodgy fashion for some time, until I waved over the campus police officer. Sadly, my student was at that point begging me to not report the incident, promising to throw his stash away. I promised him that I would do my best to protect him, as this was his first offense of any kind…but he had a hard time grasping that, since I was turning him over to a cop at the time. Honestly, I preferred to go after the bigger fish as it were, and cut the supply line by dealing with the dealers.
I spent a significant amount of my conference period working on those two things. It was a whole lot of effort, but pretty much worked out exactly like that…with my student in some hot water at school and at home, but the dealers getting the brunt of the issue. I was very, very pleased to see my student back in class, and he was pretty confused…once again, I both turned him in and protected him. The contradiction of motives was hard to navigate.
The art is pretty much about the bewildering circumstances. Just turning a corner, pretty much in your own Edu-Dungeon, and finding the aftermath of a pretty serious crime. In this case, it’s stolen jewelry and money, because I didn’t feel like drawing a drug stash. How would someone draw that anyway? The pencils came together pretty quickly between classes, which was amazing to me.
Today, the Edu-Lords seriously cracked down on the sale of ANYTHING on campus. Searches abounded, and absenteeism was high as the crackdown began. It’s kind of amazing to me how that all shook out, and that suddenly there is this proposal of a “drug awareness campaign.” One might think that such a campaign would actually be called “Health Class,” but somehow we wind up needing something extra, and beyond that.