Thursday, August 23, 2012

It Takes a Village: Part II

Last week, I wrote about a child in my daughter's class who struggles with a myriad social and emotional issues.  He has been violent toward other kids in the class and has a significant amount of behavioral challenges.

I can't help connecting the dots between this boy, and James Holmes, the man who committed the heinous Colorado Theater Massacre.  Of course, I wish for this young boy in Norah's class a much brighter, more hopeful life.  But, clearly, he actions are disturbing.  I wondered at many points through out the last school year what I could be doing to protect my daughter while at the same time supporting him and his family.  And, I have to admit, there isn't an easy answer.

My first response is to remove myself and my daughter from any interaction with this boy.  I don't want my daughter to be hurt by him or influenced by him.  And yet, I also do acutely feel the despair his mother is experiencing whenever we talk.  She is trying so hard to raise him in a way that brings about the very best in him.  I don't know what I would do if I were her.  It doesn't help matters that her support system and his are growing increasingly narrow.

And that's really what makes me think of James Holmes.  Left alone in his own apartment to scheme, plot and plan.  No one was the wiser because no one knew him or spent any time with him.  He was completely isolated from others.

I don't have an answer for this.  It haunts me, because I really don't know if anyone could have or should have reached out to James differently; but for the young boy in Norah's classroom- the question becomes what, if anything, can we do to make his future as bright as possible? 

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