So, about 3 weeks ago my daughter was involved in a physical altercation. She got into a fight. This having been the second fight of this first semester of high school, and being a 10th grade student that had a very rough freshman year, she was hammered by the administration with a two-week suspension.
I have mixed feelings about the latest fight that resulted in the suspension. She claims that she was being bullied for weeks by a Senior at her school, a black girl. That doesn’t matter. I really don’t know much more about this girl, so I won’t speculate or assume anything about her. My daughter claims that she was being bullied.
Ok fine. Who started the fight? Well, my daughter was quick to admit to throwing the first punch, yet still does not admit to being the “aggressor”. She felt like she was backed into a corner, by a much larger and very intimidating foe. There is an African colloquialism (I think it’s Somali) that is “Be careful when you corner a cat, it may kill you!” In a sense, this is how she breaks down the encounter in her mind. Ok fine.
Because the altercation occurred during school hours between same-school students (even though not on school grounds), she was suspended for two weeks for her trouble as a repeat offender … or so we’re told.
These days, much to our bewilderment as parents, kids aren’t “suspended” in the traditional sense. She was sent to a “special school” to serve her time out. We even have a song we sing every time we pull into the parking lot of “Spaz School”. It goes “Spaz School … Spaz School … Excellent … Spaz School!!!” (to the tune of Wayne’s World). Yeah, we’re making the best of a very taxing situation.
My wife and I worried that she would be thrust into contact with the worst kind of influences within the student body, and that this would just make things worse. It turned out to be quite the opposite. Yes, those worrisome kids existed and sat right next to my daughter. One boy was there for lighting another kid’s hair on fire! Another was there for stabbing another student. One other was there for defending his little brother from a bully. My daughter, although being a straight-A student, made a stupid decision … maybe, maybe not. I don’t know. But there she is.
What I do know is that my daughter is the VICTIM of a crime that is before the Courts at the moment. She is going through a rough, rough time. It’s a time more rough than I’ve ever gone through personally, I’m certain of that. The case is ongoing. She is seeking therapy by way of counselling, physical labor (work), volunteering, and anything else that is able to occupy her waking hours and distract her from the harsh reality of what happened to her. Why? Suicidal tendencies. That’s why.
For the past two weeks, I’ve had to drive her to her Spaz School. Driving her there turns my uneventful 20-minute commute into a 75-minute battle. I’m happy to do it. Her special school seems to be helping her. She seems better able to focus on her education. She’s not getting into trouble. She’s not getting bullied. She seems happier, so 55 minutes be damned! She’s still a straight-A student, and there she is.
As I drive her to her Spaz School I listen to Podcasts, as I do whenever I drive. Every now and then I would listen to a Dr Jordan Peterson lecture or speaking engagement. There are very many to download and enjoy. Usually, as we are driving, she has her stupid earphones or earbuds or whatever the hell they are called and listening to her stupid music. Ok whatever. But I started to notice that when I was listening to a Dr Jordan Peterson lecture, every now and then the music would stop, and she would listen … even if just for a few minutes. I didn’t say anything, but I understood the significance of that. So I started listening to only lectures by Dr Jordan Peterson for the last FOUR days on the way to Spaz School as we jokingly named it.
Today, she listened for TWENTY MINUTES! I could swear, though I didn’t dare turn my eyes to her, she wiped away a few tears. TWENTY MINUTES, until she finally said, “I’m just going to listen to some music now” even though I didn’t ask anything of her.
Why am I writing this and spilling my guts? Tonight, Friday night, she isn’t out on the streets. She’s up in her room listening to Dr Jordan Peterson lectures on YouTube. In particular she is taken by this lecture, Isn’t that amazing?
She’s 15 years old. At time of writing this, Dr Jordan Peterson is a major factor in keeping her alive.