An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Thursday, August 26, 2010

911 Emergency

I never thought I would have to dial 911, but yesterday I did. It wasn't because of a car accident, or an illness, or a robbery.

I called because of a young boy I saw walking along the railroad tracks on a very busy Riverwatch Parkway.

A boy who should have been in school.

A boy who was (maybe) ten years old.

A boy who was all alone.

I pulled over.

Son, I called. Did you miss your bus? Shouldn't you be in school?

He looked at me, frowning.

No, he replied. I was suspended.

As he continued walking, here's what I thought: Suspended? The boy is ten years old! Suspended? This is only the third week of school! Suspended? He still shouldn't be wandering around unsupervised.

So, I called 911. They took the boy's description, the direction he was headed, and said they'd send a car to look for him.

There is a saying, Give me a child for the first seven years, and I will give you a man . . . and I couldn't help wondering what happened in this boy's first seven years that, by the age of ten, he is suspended from school and walking along a railroad track.

I wish, for him, someone had called 911 years ago.

6 comments:

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e) said...

A handful of years ago, a boy moved here in fourth grade. He was rough edged. In fifth grade, he was mine, and he would tell me not to love him.

I did anyway.

During that same year, he was arrested. At school. I can't go into what he did, but he didn't deserve arrest (his parents did, but he took the fall).

I wanted to take him home with me. I wanted to hide him.

Eventually, he came back to school.

He went on to sixth and the middle school. He came back to see me that fall, I told him I loved him, and he smiled and said, "I know."

Then his mom gave him away. He left the state. I haven't seen him since.

Last week I found him on facebook. I wrote to him only to tell him I think of him often. I didn't tell him I think of him nearly every day.

Tiziana said...

Sono due belle testimonianze che mi hanno fatto riflettere. Certo è più facile fare finta di niente e girarsi dall'altra parte, più difficile è cercare di dare aiuto a una persona che non si conosce.

Christine said...

Too many Parents not parenting...at least that is what I think!

Laura said...

Thank you for doing that. HOW CAN A SCHOOL SUSPEND A KID AND NOT MAKE THE PARENTS PICK HIM UP? I am seething.
Wish everyone would feel the obligation you felt.

Laura said...

And Ellen just made me cry a little.

GrandmaK said...

good for you!! It really is sad! And like Laura Ellen's story tugged at my heart strings. Thank you for sharing!!! Cathy