Part 11, The Year I nearly Lost My Mind
‎12/‎20/20‎14 People who know me had lots 0f questions concerning the article I wrote THE YEAR I NEARLY LOST MY MIND. They asked some of the questions I’m sure you would like to know. This happened so long ago I am sure all involved are either retired, dead or moved out of the city.
I had given my principal the report of all of the homes I visited. Nothing ever came of that report because it was near the retirement of those in charge. If it had become public, that there were not enough teachers at that school, it might have been closed. That principal would not have had a job. Without a job, she would not have drawn retirement benefits. In fact, not too many years later it was closed. In order to meet the state mandate, a school must have an appropriate ratio of students and teachers. We did not meet that quota. There is no problem with a teacher having a split class as long as a school meets its quota. If it does not, the school, as well as the district, can find itself in trouble.
I also did not share the fact that the parent was catching a plane going to California to bring back illegal substances for sale. Even today, I have no idea where that woman took that little girl. I’m sure the little girl has children of her own. It’s possible she could be a grandmother. I saw one of her classmates in the grocery store this summer. She introduced me to her grandchild.
That father who was about to beat his child eventually lost custody of that child.
The child who went to prison may be out by now. It is my hope he has turned his life around. He had a very good looking little brother who was not at all like him at the time. I have no idea where either man is today. I used the younger brother’s nickname in the story I wrote about Elnora. I am hopeful they are both model citizens.
I have no idea where the foster child is who would get out of his seat, lay prostrate on the floor and yell out profanity. I remember that was the year the courts said it was against the law for a teacher to touch a child. Some of the teachers were upset by the law. For once I agreed with the courts. It does no good to whip a child. If a child does something wrong, he needs to be convinced or persuaded to do the right thing. The older I get the more I am convinced persuasion is the right way to go. Forced persuasion does not work either.
While I am apologizing, I need to apologize to Mr. Balwin postmortem. The play was not “Jack the Knife” it was “The Three Penny Opera” and everything else remains the same. The central character was Jack the knife or Jack the Ripper.

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