A Triggered Response

Don’t know about you, but I read each post with a slightly different eye this week, looking for one that provoked a response. Many did, but none more than Tina Stewart’s Brakebill’s post: Already Lost.

Early in my teaching career, I had a troubled student, who was assigned to three out of four classes with me. Unwanted by other teachers, he and I made a pact right from the beginning to look out for each other. I made him my classroom assistant, appealing to his ADHD. While many of his behaviours continued, we were getting somewhere.

Then one day, he came to class with literature he had picked up for Teen Alcoholics Anonymous, and asked me if I would go with him. I said I would.

He was only fifteen, and had had a long history of being abandoned. My commitment to him meant everything. He sailed out of my class on top of the world.

I don’t know what happened over the lunch hour, but he didn’t arrive for third period class. Instead, a few minutes into the class, another student ran into the classroom telling me that Jay was in the parking lot shooting a pellet gun at other students.

I ran to the office and the police came within minutes. It was all over before anyone knew what was happening, no one was hurt, and Jay was expelled from school and sent to a detention centre.

We continued to work together, thanks to the efforts of administration, and Jay achieved all three credits with me.

Today he is a graduate of Community College with a certificate in Social Work.

This is Ontario, Canada.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if this was Florida where they’ve just passed legislation for teachers to be armed. I shudder to think. Schools, especially high schools, where hormones are out of balance, and executive functioning is often lacking, is not a place for guns.

My heart goes out to teachers and students where this has become a solution.


This week’s challenge: to respond to posts of others, elicited many well thought out and provocative posts. In addition, it created a reason to expand outside of our circle. Thanks to all who participated, and I hope you enjoyed this challenge.

Heart to Heart
Poetic Heart Dregs
one letter UP
Stuff and what if…

Please note: WordPress seems to be having trouble with links. Let me know if I’ve missed a post or if a link is not working.

See you tomorrow for a new challenge.

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

4 thoughts on “A Triggered Response

  1. Your student was lucky to have the continued support of his school and you. Having someone believe in him probably contributed to his future success Teaching is not just about the 3R’s. As a teacher, I can’t imagine what it would be to walk into a gun filled environment each day. It all seems so out of control. As with most teachers, I’ve definitely faced violence within my career, but I’ve never understood how the powers that be think that arming teachers is a solution.

    Liked by 1 person

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