“Ervin” and the pretty girl down the hall

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I wrote a fair number of referrals for Ervin, mostly all about breaking the cell phone policy — he was constantly texting or gaming — or not doing any work. He did breathtakingly little work, almost none in an average week, in any of his classes. The administration tried numerous interventions, tried to find him an off-campus placement, and talked until they were turning blue in the face.

Nothing worked.

But his attendance was excellent. He was there almost every day, phone in hand. He came even when told he was suspended at least once.

Eduhonesty: I liked Ervin. He had nothing against me. He had just stepped out of the educational process without leaving the building. The reason had a locker down my hall and I must admit she was a very pretty girl. She was considered to be a good student as well.

If Ervin hadn’t been such a bad example, I might not even have written him up. He sat in the back of the room doing nothing. When I moved him up front, he did nothing. I settled him in the back of the room where he could not been seen as easily since laziness begets laziness. Most of the students in the room understood Ervin was on a path to the fast-food drive-up window (although I don’t know if he’ll be able to muster up the work ethic for any job that rigorous) and paid him no attention. A couple of boys thought he was cool, though, and overall learning loss from his example trickled through the classroom.

I spoke with his mom often. By the end, she was just waiting for him to drop out since she could see no point in Ervin’s going to school anyway. I agreed. I’m sure everyone was relieved when he dropped out before the end of the school year. His mind had left the building many months before his body finally exited.