I recently, finally, left my day job, which was teaching middle school students that grammar was really, really important, dammit!
That lesson, for the most part, did not take. Go figure.
But one of them, one student I didn’t actually teach this year, but who touched my damned, vulnerable heart, has kind of gone off the deep end. Her hair is now blue–Cookie Monster Blue, with white stripes–and she now has a piercing. A lip ring.
This student had a rough year. This student was sexually abused by a stepfather this year. This student moved into a new house with her father, and has absolutely no supervision. Hence the blue hair and the lip ring. Her mom, apparently, thinks it is cool.
And this student has an attitude now. A “who the fuck do you think you are to question my decisions?” kind of attitude. Sadly, I have seen the progression to this “attitude.” What do you do with that? How do you react?
I know where this is coming from. I have viewed, firsthand, her descent from happy-go-lucky athletic teenager to blue-haired nasty-mouthed, lip-ringed teenager.
Are all kids with blue hair and lips rings bad kids? No, of course not. But they ARE hiding. They are putting on a mask, and a charade, and a costume of elaborate making. They are, in fact, no longer the person they used to be.
How do you deal with this?