“I’m going to rip out your insulin pump,” a kid we don’t know told a kid we know well. I’ll call him Dejuan. Dejuan reported that when he asked for help/protection, his school administrators told him that, although he might have perceived this as a threat, in reality, he need not worry about it. Yet he worried. The would-be pump ripper is (or Dejuan perceived this to be so) one of the cronies in a group of three led by an angry giant. So he worried, and wanted to leave school. School called and suggested he might like to take a day to recover from the incident—a “comfy, cozy day,” I think is what they called it. There’s a lot more to it. Long story short: I picked Dejuan up.
Dejuan went back to school the next day. He rated it a nine out of ten stars. A new marking period had begun and with it, robotics class. Fun friends are in his robotics group; the would-be pump ripper is at an adjacent table and having less fun, because he is less handy with Lego or whatever skill you need, which made me happy because I am petty—even toward children. Nyah-nyah.
Dejuan said the day would have been a ten out of ten stars, but a random pizza-eating kid picked up his GF pizza saying, “If you really can’t eat gluten, then why are you eating pizza?” Then touch-touch-touch, all over the pizza, touching ostentatiously just to ruin the lunch. So lunch was a minus.
Meanwhile, unaware of the pizza attack happening in the very same building, Dejuan’s father and I were meeting with assorted helpful school personnel, explaining our, err, concerns. And they were like: here’s why it is not a concern. And we were like, here’s why it is a concern. And they were like we want Dejuan to be happy here and to feel safe. And we were like when you tell him not to worry when someone threatens him, that does not make him feel safe. And we all smiled and agreed and thanked and trusted, but with a vibe of well, we’ll see how it goes…
My point is not wow, some of the kids at this school really suck. It is not wow, I really suck at convincing adults to not blow off threats and stuff. It was going to be Look How Good Not Your Average Joe’s is for Someone With Celiac Disease, but my mind got carried away. Maybe the point, or what I’m trying to convince myself is the point, is Dejuan is resilient and hooray for that. Or maybe it is does this seriously happen at school? This is what it’s like?