The children! The children! Won’t somebody please think of the children!
An educator’s job is to not only teach, but to help students who are struggling with their studies; to guide and give them a push in the right direction. This isn’t happening at Central, in fact one might say the exact opposite is taking place. Students that aren’t doing too well and are considered to be too old, are being “persuaded” to drop out!
Such is the case with one student at Central, who chose to remain anonymous for fear of being reprimanded. She shall be referred to as “Juana”.
Here’s Juana’s story; Juana had gone to her administrator’s office to collect her cell phone, which had been taken away from her for using it when she wasn’t supposed to. It was taking too long. The bell for the next period had already rung. She decided to go to class, and pick up the phone later. On her way to class, she stopped by the bathroom. There were two other girls in the bathroom, and an old friend, with whom she started talking to. Seconds later, Almagno walked in.
Almagno asked Juana and her friend where they belonged. She then asked the two other girls, they refused to answer, then ran out the bathroom, and out the building. They were apparently skipping class. Almagno had Juana’s friend go to class, and told Juana to follow her to Juana’s administrator’s office. Once they arrived at the office, Almagno pulled out Juana’s file. She appeared to be outraged. Why? Juana had no idea, since she’d nothing wrong.
“You’re 18 ½ years old”, said Almagno.
“There’s no such thing as 18 ½ years old”, replied Juan. “I’ll be 19 in a couple of months. So I’m 18 years old until then.”
Almagno then had Juana follow her to her guidance counselor’s office. Along the way Juana found out Almagno’s true intentions. She wanted Juana to drop out of high school. She told Juana that she wasn’t going to make it, that she wasn’t worth being at Central, and that she might as well drop out and get her GED instead. At this point, Juana asked Almagno to please drop the subject, because it wasn’t going to happen. Angry and surprised that Almagno would ask her to do such a thing. This seemed to have angered Almagno.
The guidance counselor was in a meeting with a student. When Almagno and Juana arrived, Almagno had the counselor cancel the meeting. Though it seemed that Almagno’s plan was to have the guidance counselor help her in convincing Juana to drop out, it didn’t work out, Almagno did all the talking. Maybe, and I hope this to be true, the guidance counselor saw just how wrong this whole thing was, and decided not to say a word. Too bad she didn’t have the cojones to stand up for Juana, a student in need of guidance, and defend her.
Juana, ignoring Almagno, turned to the counselor and asked when make-up school would be taking place so as to make up for the classes she’d failed. Almagno then stated that she wanted a meeting with Juana’s mother.
“You’ll have your meeting”, answered Juana.
The meeting was based on trying to convince Juana’s mother to have Juana drop out of school and take GED classes. Angered by what she was hearing, Juana’s mother told Almagno,
“This isn’t my first child to struggle through high school, so I’m not going to deprive her of her own decisions and I have faith that she will do what she has to do.”
“I’ll keep an eye on you”, said Almagno.