We lost a student this summer. He was tragically shot from the back seat while driving his car. The shooter claims that it was an accident and the one other passenger supports his story. Friends and family don’t believe it and the truth will probably never be known.
This happened just days before Mike Brown was shot in Ferguson. It has been heavy on my heart this year, but felt too personal to blog about. This holiday season has really hit me with how many of my students and their families are suffering, rather than celebrating.
It would have been his 18th birthday last week. We had a moment of silence and shared some good memories of him. Many of his friends have really struggled this year to deal with his death. I teach them in a senior math class. There have been days when they break down and can’t work at all. At first I got frustrated by how often that it started occurring. Then I realized that the students needed help. We got them some counseling and they are starting to deal with it in a healthy way.
I haven’t really been able to help these students much. But I am there for them, listen to them, and show up to everything that they do to remember him. I care and they notice. They asked me to help make a memorial (out of concrete, of course) for him at the school. They are afraid that he will be forgotten. We won’t let that happen.
There are many other stories from many other students who are hurting this year. I can’t fix them, but I care and love them.