I sometimes write about the brokenness of my patients, and of the world in general.  Today, I post someone the comments of a cross-country friend.  My friend is a high-school teacher who feels powerless.  When you read this, you’ll understand why he is overwhelmed by love for these students and simultaneously crushed by a sense of hopelessness.  Add this fine teacher and these students to your prayers today, please.

My students are BROKEN!!! I am teaching a high school class that is basically the “last chance” for some of the students . . . a reward for them doing nothing so far in their academic career so they can graduate in three years instead of four. Even though my classes are “smaller” I have students who are repeating 9th grade . . . who just got out of jail . . . and even some special ed kids who are so mentally handicapped that they could barely function in an elementary school class setting (two of these students have been in self-contained classrooms up until this year).

But how are they broken? They giggle when we talk about illegal and immoral choices in our study and life skills class .  Example:  “How many of you face a decision that could be illegal on a yearly basis?”  They raise their hands and giggle. ” Monthly?” I repeat “Weekly?”  I repeat.  “Daily?”  They look at each other, with hands still raised, giggle, and tell each other “You know!”

Again, how are they broken? When doing an anticipation guide for a book that we are going to begin reading next week that asks questions about trusting adults or having someone to turn to, the students get almost ANGRY because they HAVE to tell me that they “have no one” or “I don’t trust my parents” or “I hate my parents” or “I don’t go to nobody about anything because nobody will help you anyways.”

Again, how are they broken? They brag about their parents dropping out at 15 because they were pregnant with them. They brag about their parents dropping out in the 8th grade.

Again, how are they broken? I had a student who (just because I shared my gripes with her outside of the lunchroom) opened up to me to tell me that she is living with her dad and “step-mom” (quote: “it’s not like they are married, but I have to refer to her as that”) because her real mom who “doesn’t do anything” lost her disability check and could not keep the payments up on the house and her boyfriend who is living with her keeps calling her stupid, so she moved in with her dad. “It’s better this time” she told me, “because last time I lived with them my step-mom treated me bad, but it is better than living with my mom because I had to keep cussing out her boyfriend.”

Again, how are they broken? I had a 9th grade repeater . . . a beautiful young girl . . . who was absent on the first day of school come in with a hickey on the second day of school. No shame. Low cut shirt. Out there for all the world to see.

Lastly, how are they broken? They cannot even answer simple questions such as “How are you today?” or “Did you have a nice weekend?” without having an attitude or smart remark. It is almost like they do not know how to answer with kindness or gentleness because it is so rare when they are spoken to with kindness or gentleness.

They have already asked me for food. They have already asked me to get them their school supplies. And every day they beg – – – with their eyes and their attitudes – – – for love.

But I do not know how much more I can give.

And we are only into week two.

Sorry to unload on you like this . . . but I need someone, anyone, to just pray for these kids . . . and for me.

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