I reread my last post and I thought readers might be upset. You let that kid leave unescorted? You said yourself he might be dangerous.
Eduhonesty: Especially in urban and financially disadvantaged schools — but in schools everywhere — all teachers have kids like Dennis in their classes. The Dennises are a fact of life. In poor districts, so is the lack of security at times. Security guards (or Dean’s Assistants as they are called in some upscale buildings) can only manage so many situations at the same time. Certain times of day are also more problematic, especially lunch times and late afternoon classes. One good food fight can suck up the whole security staff. As I noted earlier, we guarantee an education to everyone who does not bring a gun to school. Drugs and other weapons may also get a kid thrown out, but cursing at teachers is generally safe, at least until you take a punch at the poor teacher. Cursing at teachers carries an added benefit; this behavior makes an in-school detention likely. Dennis liked in-school detention. A lot of kids do. They prop a book open and get left alone.
So teachers regularly make judgement calls. I never would have let Dennis out by himself if I thought he was dangerous that day, even with a teacher to watch his progress. I thought he just wanted some quiet time free of expectations and responsibilities. He got it.