A few years ago, we got notice that one of our students wasn't going to graduate with his class. Shocked...he was on track just a few months earlier...we started asking questions to find out what happened. It seems his history teacher noticed a "major change in his behavior" when he returned from Christmas vacation. She suspected he was using drugs but didn't know what to do about it so she did nothing!
What was the problem? It wasn't drugs...then. By the time she sent home a non-graduation notice, it was.
The culprit? Grandma died over Christmas vacation, and in his mind, Grandma was the only person in the whole world who loved him (of course that isn't true...but when it is true in their minds, we must deal with it as fact to help them through their crisis).
Helping him mourn Grandma would have been so easy. Instead, a normal life event became a big life crisis. Instead of prevention and helping him with healthy grief strategies, he needed intervention and major rehabilitation.
There are two tragedies in this true story:
- What could have been a healthy grief lesson turned into a lost diploma, a life wracked with substance abuse, and a long road to recovery.
- A teacher saw the signs but did NOTHING. Ignoring an unacceptable behavior doesn't make it go away.
Lockett Learning Systems has resources to help you with your children and/or students who are grieving.