Sunday, March 1, 2009

Kids say the darndest things

Posted by Jack

Three stories from the past 2 weeks.

The police officer was visiting our classroom full of young children as a part of their "Safety Week" activities. She had brought along her canine partner in order to demonstrate how they search for drugs and illicit materials. As she passed out some coloring books to the children, she began to ask them questions about their experiences with the police.

"What is a police officer's job?" she asked.

A young boy in the back raised his hand.

"Police officers take daddies to jail."

********

The other teachers had noticed too. This particular little girl had been coming to class every day with dirt caked on her body. Her hair was knotted, her teeth were beginning to yellow, and she frequently wore the same outfit. In the neighboring classroom, her brother was in worse condition; he had come to class this day with dried feces in his pants.

In casual conversation, the teachers began to inquire about the family's evening activities.

"We only get baths if grandma comes to visit. Then grandma cleans us."

********

He had exploded in anger and punched another child. As this was becoming a frequent occurrence, I began to worry about the child's emotional well-being. I took the boy under my wing and began keeping him close to me.

One day, in the midst of a crying fit, we overheard him say something to another child. I waited half an hour, then pulled him aside to see if he would repeat the comment as he had before.

"My daddy choked me, pushed me down, and hit me."

It takes everything within me to keep from crying alongside him.

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