Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lunch time

This is from my most recent lunch supervision duty patrol.

There's this group of mentally retarded kids that come out for part of our lunch from the school we share our building with. Some of them, you just look at their faces and you know they are different. Whether it's the heavy eyelids and huge smile of the students with Down's or the unusually clenched hands of other kids, there is usually some kind of indicator that signals, This kid is different from you.

So if you don't have one of the physical markers, and if you're not holding hands with one of the aides, you look like any other kid from the other school who shouldn't be out during our lunch time. The kid I'm thinking about, he strays from the pack. He'll go and try to talk with different cliques of our students who always look a little confused when he leaves them. Once, though, when I first met him, he decided to whistle and say something nasty about how good I looked. I can't remember the firey, furious, speech I gave him. "Who do you think you are" was somewhere in there.

Then some kid told me "He's with those other retarded kids."

Oh (momentary remorse). So? (anger fully intact)

He's done it once more since his initial compliment.

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