I have just had a rotten day. A day that makes me want to quit teaching. It actually makes me want to quit life.
I have a student who is in second grade. Her IQ is 60 which is mentally retarded and she’s really really low. She is not able to write her own name, she doesn’t know where she lives, nothing. But she is a really really sweet girl and she tries so hard. Well she’s had some attendance issues and she’s routinely dirty and unkempt and mom has been to court to maintain custody of her. It came to my attention this week that she has been walking home a ridiculously long way all by herself. This is a girl who doesn’t know where she lives, what her phone number is, and would get in a car with a stranger. She is not cognitively able to walk home by herself. In this ridiculously long walk, she is crossing a major road with no assistance. She does not have socks on, she has no hat and she has no gloves. It is 15 degrees out. On Wednesday the bus driver took her back to the barn and waited for someone to come get Z. Mom finally showed up at 6:45, high as a kite and wanted to take her home. At this point in time, rather than changing the bus stop, mom decides to sign a paper stating that Z can walk home all by herself. Mom also informed the bus driver that they are homeless. Thursday night no one is at the bus stop again. So today I had to call Children’s Services. I spent all day on the phone trying to talk to her case worker, her court appointed guardian, FCCS, and the bus driver trying to make sure this little girl didn’t have to get on that bus. Finally FCCS has me call the police to come pick her up and take her to the intake station. Not even five minutes before the police officer showed up, Z’s case worker came. There was some discussion and the case worker ended up taking Z home. She took Z home. To a house, or maybe no house b/c Z says she doesn’t live there. To a place where Z sleeps on a mattress on the floor that she shares with another little girl. To a house where Z is left in charge of her 1 year old brother for extended periods of time. To a house where, when we buy her a new coat, Auntie takes it away from her and gives it to her cousins. To a house where her mom is on drugs and takes the money that Z’s bus driver gave Z to buy books from Scholastic for drugs. Z should have been removed from that house. She should not have been sent home.
How do things like this happen?