Bug Lover, the student I have spent so much time in the office with (for various reasons) - the student I have gotten to know so well - the student I have monitored so closely in social situations because of his impulsive urge for inappropriate behavior...
has moved. Out of our school district. In the midst of a school year. For the 2nd time in his school career.
His parents threatened this when they found out about some of their son's behaviors in school. They told us (admin, counselor, and myself) that his behavior was the result of our Nation's culture. His inappropriate touching and (perfect) use of words FAR out of his age-range was, to his parents, caused by television, peers, and the general environment.
When the behaviors escalated, they (unknowingly to me) told Bug Lover that if he continued, they (his family) would not love him any more. Would not LOVE HIM ANYMORE. So, after another incident, when I was walking & talking on our way to the office and he realized where I was taking him - he began sobbing and had tremors so bad I thought he was seizing or something awful.
If the threat of your parents not loving you, which clearly was significant for him (as it would be for anybody), could not control your impulses - then guess what - maybe your impulses have a deeper root and you can not actually control them.
The parents didn't believe this. We suggested counseling. We gave contact information. We pleaded. Pleaded. I adore this student, and it was breaking my heart that he needed this help and we could not give it to him. We couldn't force his parents to get him the help either.
And then it came out.
The parents next threat. Not only did they tell Bug Lover they would not love him... but they told him that if the behaviors continued that they would send him (alone, by himself, without his family) back to Ethiopia to stay with strangers (family that he has never met).
That was 2 months ago.
Previously the parents had moved Bug Lover out of another school for similar behaviors, which is why he ended up in ours. That was in 3rd grade.
Our admin, counselors, myself, and other teachers have put so much effort into turning this into a success for Bug Lover. Something he can learn from, something he can learn to express in appropriate ways. He is so smart, and his addition to my classroom is imperative for us to function. We are all a team, and he plays a very important part. His classmates were accepting and trying to help (after many class discussions), and were being amazingly supportive - and quite frankly - pretty amazing friends to Bug Lover.
Then, last night, I received an email from one of my students. It was simple, and it said :
Bug Lover moved away on Friday.
They moved him. They pulled him out of a school that was working so hard to make it happen for him, a school that surrounded him with support... and they didn't even get his stuff. There is a full desk waiting for me when I get back.
I'm already plotting how that full desk will result in me finding out where he went - so that, you know, I can return that stuff. Because I'm oh-so-concerned about getting him his math notebook.
Or maybe because I want closure. Or follow up. Or for him not to fall through the cracks and to not get the help he desperately needs.
Moving will not change the behavior or the root of it. I wish the parents would have understood that when we spoke those words in every meeting.
They have moved their son. For the same reason that they moved him last year.
I think I'm just shocked. Sudden movement... so strange.