I've been meaning to write about Usher.
I spend a lot of time thinking about Usher. I probably spend more time thinking about Usher than I spend time working with him. To call Usher a truant is an understatement.
But someone called Adminsistration for Child Services about one of his sisters last week, and they remembered he exists and went looking for him so Usher has been around quite a bit lately.
Last year, when someone threatened to call ACS because of his excessive truancy- Usher showed up in the guidance office and begged us not to.
"You have been in foster homes before?" I prompted . (I knew the answer I read his IEP file- he had spent ten years in and out of foster homes.)
Usher told this story:
When he was six his mom left him in at the park to watch his younger sister. While she was gone the little girl got hurt. "Where's the parent?" someone asked and when no one replied the police were called. And that was the beginning of Usher's ten year journey in the system.
"And it was all my fault, Usher explained, if I had watched her better none of that would have ever happened.
So now Usher is 16, can't read Frog and Toad without making a series of mistakes and spends his days with drug dealers getting high.- At least until ACS threatens to put him and his sisters in the system again- then he returns to school.
Yesterday I made the stupid mistake of inserting myself in the middle of a girl fight-
I got knocked to the floor for my efforts. A strong arm reached into the fracus and helped me up. Then Usher gave me a hug.
Comforted and protected, by someone who gets very little protection
If he would only come to school more often-