Today I had an interesting interaction while I was doing my front desk duty. A police car pulled up to the curb. An officer got out of the car and brought in a very disgruntled student. I don’t think I actually said anything. The look on my face must have conveyed, Why are you bringing in this one?
Officer: She was fighting with the neighbors. She missed the bus so she didn’t come to school. Now that’s not a valid reason to skip school, right?
Me: Eyebrows raised, with a look of confusion and confirmation… Why don’t you just take her to the office. It’s the first door on your left.
After a few minutes, the officer comes out of the office and passes by me and says, “She’ll be in jail by tonight. I guarantee it.”
So we have the police trying to do what’s right in their play book. Then we have the school trying to do what’s correct in our play book. But really. What does this kid actually need?
This is a teenager who is clearly in a volatile state and has been in an altercation earlier in the day probably doesn’t belong in a classroom. Apparently she hasn’t done enough to warrant an arrest. Yet. I know I don’t know the entire story, but I don’t think jail or school was necessarily the best place for her. It seems to me that this situation should be handled differently than what I witnessed today. But what that play book looks like is a mystery to me.