Thursday, May 27, 2010

And Then There Were None

My last day of school? Had some really tender heartbreaking moments. The boys and I watched one more movie together...Michael. You know, the one with Travolta playing an angel. Then ten minutes before ten o'clock, they were informed transport had arrived and would be taking them to their new facility. They all lined up and hugged us, their teachers for the very last time.

I walked them over to their dorms so they could collect their belongings. Little plastic bags with toiletries and a few other personal items. One of the boys hugged me tightly and whispered that he loved me, that I was like a mother to that he'd never known.

This kid always worked so hard in my class. He has a wonderful creative knack for writing and draws the most beautiful illustrations. I always try to give each kid an opportunity to use his talents in the classroom.

Then something occurred that I'd never witnessed before. The boys were handcuffed and shackled for transport. As the chains were donned, they went from being my little high school boys to hardened criminals. Some of them dropped their heads in shame as their eyes met mine. My heart broke, I'd never seen them this way before...and I couldn't help but tear up and wonder if this experience had been positive enough that it would be a catalyst for change.

I really won't ever know the answer to that question. All I can hope for is that maybe, when these fellas are grown, and have jobs and families, that maybe they'll look up their former English teacher and send me a message. Hopefully that message will inform me that they achieved the one thing I wanted for them. A life full of promise, of success, of always being in the free.


Durango said...

I didn't expect that, the handcuffs. That was awful. Why would they do that?

I'm sure you'll be hearing from these kids again.

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

It's TYC policy for transport, but even so...we'd never seen these boys shackled. I also think it was a reality check for some of these kids. Their demeanor shifted so suddenly...I told a few..."Let this be the last time..." Hope it sinks in.